The challenge of getting started

One of the challenges in designing a successful energy harvesting system is how to get started. There are often too many unknowns in the early days and it can be overwhelming. Which energy source to use, photovoltaic, thermoelectric generator, electric field, flow or vibration? How big should my storage elements be? Should I use supercapacitors or rechargeable batteries? Do I need a backup battery for energy security, can I collect enough energy during the day to last through the night? While these are just external considerations, others are the optimization, selection and supply chain management of the collector electronics, such as the inductors, resistors and capacitors needed to make a fully functional energy harvesting system on the PCB.

Pre-built modules speed time to market

To assist in make-or-break decisions, RECOM has developed a pre-built and fully tested energy harvesting module and an evaluation board using the AEM10941 harvester IC.

The REH-3.31.8 module is a complete energy harvesting power supply requiring only one energy source and one storage element. This frees design engineers to focus their precious time on more important decisions, such as finding the best solar cell based on lighting conditions, fine-tuning the resonant frequency of a vibration generator, or experimenting with which supercapacitor or lithium-ion battery size is reliable continuous power supply.

To make this process even easier, RECOM also manufactures the REH-3.31.8-EVM-1 evaluation board, backup energy, storage components, and push-in terminals for 3.3V and 1.8V output voltages. If an on-board backup primary battery is required, the evaluation board also reserves the pads for the CR2032 battery holder. Using the REH-3.31.8-EVM-1 it is possible to program all the functions of the REH-3.31.8 module, such as selecting the type of storage element (rechargeable battery or supercapacitor), setting the switching backup battery threshold voltage and enabling one or both independently an output. All input and output signals can be easily read using test probes.

https://recom-power.com/energy-harvesTIng.html

Five benefits of using RECOM modules:

1. Always available! The REH-3.31.8 is a pre-tested 12.2mm x 12.2mm x 3.75mm SMD module in a metal case with pads on the bottom. Apart from the energy element and storage element, no other external components are required to construct a fully functional energy harvester.

2. Easy to assemble! Land Grid Array (LGA) pads can be easily and reliably soldered to low-cost single- or double-sided main PCBs. The metal housing makes the pick and place machine work with ease, and your bill of materials (BoM) lists only one part.

3. Fast time to market! Get your energy harvester up and running right from day 1 of design. From prototyping to mass production, our European distribution centers and courier services ensure you can quickly scale up your production.

4. Experimentation is easy! The REH-3.31.8-EVM-1 evaluation board allows you to experiment with different energy or storage component manufacturers and filter to select the components that are best for you.

5. Easy to upgrade! If you later decide to upgrade to increase the amount of energy harvested, the push-in connector allows you to easily switch to a more efficient energy harvester or larger storage element in seconds. Once it is up and running, production can continue with the new configuration without changing any operating specifications.

Specifications for REH3.31.8 and REH-3.31.8-EVM-1

The REH-3.31.8 is a dual output energy harvesting module designed for photovoltaic (PV) cells but also capable of operating from other low voltage DC sources, providing voltages above 50mV. This unique and compact (12.19 x 12.19 mm) module contains all the circuitry required for an energy harvesting system, as well as photovoltaic cell maximum power point (MPP) tracking.

Users simply add storage elements (optional rechargeable batteries or supercapacitors) and connect to a power source to run. Two short-circuit protected fixed voltage regulated outputs ([email protected] and [email protected]) can be enabled or disabled independently. When there is not enough energy to maintain the output voltage and a shutdown is imminent, the module will issue an imminent shutdown warning signal.

https://recom-power.com/energy-harvesTIng.html

REH-3.31.8-EVM-1 allows easy and quick evaluation of REH-3.31.8 energy harvesting modules. The evaluation board has all the necessary plug-and-play connectors to connect energy sources, energy storage elements, dual output voltages, and an external backup battery. The PCB retains the pads for the space-saving CR2032 battery holder, allowing the use of an on-board backup battery if needed.

If a backup primary battery (1.5V to 3V) is installed, the REH module will automatically switch to backup power when the energy harvesting input cannot maintain uninterrupted output.

https://recom-power.com/energy-harvesTIng.html

how to buy

Both the REH-3.31.8 module and the REH-3.31.8-EVM-1 evaluation board are available from RECOM headquarters in Austria or our business development managers in the UK, Germany, Italy, Russia, USA or Japan.

About RECOM

Our headquarters are in the heart of Europe, in the picturesque town of Gmunden, surrounded by the beautiful Austrian Alps. In this inspiring place, RECOM engineers develop innovative new ideas to make the architecture of standard and custom power converters as well as innovative platforms more efficient and reliable, and continue to promote the concept of modular, decentralized power architectures. RECOM products have found great success in all fields of electronics, from industrial automation and energy technology, to electric vehicles, measurement and railway technology, to medical, IoT and automotive electronics. The three pillars of our success are innovative products, reliable customer support and a large-scale global distribution network, enabling our global customers to use RECOM power converters within 48 hours, providing customers with ideal power solutions in a service role Solutions and first-class technical support.

About e-peas

AEM10941

e-peas' solar energy harvesting IC solution, the AEM10941, is an integrated energy management circuit that draws DC power from up to seven solar panels and simultaneously stores energy in a rechargeable element, providing the system with two independently regulated voltages . The solar collector AEM10941 can extend battery life and ultimately eliminate disposable battery energy storage elements in a wide range of wireless applications such as industrial monitoring, geolocation, home automation, electronic health monitoring, and wireless sensor nodes.

About e-peas

e-peas develops and markets disruptive ultra-low power semiconductor technology. This enables designers of industrial and IoT wireless products to significantly extend battery life and address the high cost of battery replacement without compromising reliability. With 15 years of research and patented intellectual property, the company's products increase the amount of energy harvested and dramatically reduce energy consumption within wireless sensor nodes. Headquartered in Mont-Saint-Guiber, Belgium, with offices in Switzerland and the United States, e-peas offers a broad portfolio of energy harvesting power management interface ICs, microcontrollers and sensor solutions.

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