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RF energy harvesting kit enables wireless charging

Posted: 24 Nov 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:thin-film  micro-battery  transmitter  receiver 

Powercast Corp. has unveiled a RF enabled development kit for a technology that allows near-loss-less energy storage and efficient wireless charging of low-power devices.

The Lifetime Power Energy Harvesting Development Kit for Battery Charging uses Powercast's Thinergy Micro-Energy Cell (MEC), a solid-state, rechargeable thin-film micro-battery to prototype and develops rechargeable battery-based micro-power systems such as wireless sensor networks powered by radio waves. Such systems will do away with traditional battery replacements.

The development kit consists of a 3W Powercaster transmitter, a P2110 Powerharvester receiver evaluation board, a battery-charging board, a 1mAh THINERGY MEC evaluation card and other accessories. Also included as a demonstration application is the Texas Instruments eZ430-RF2500 wireless development tool.

The kit's 915MHz RF transmitter-receiver energy-harvesting system broadcasts and then converts RF energy, which it stores it in a capacitor, which uses a pulsed regulated voltage output to wirelessly trickle charge energy storage devices, including the Thinergy MEC and other thin-film batteries, as well as rechargeable batteries such as alkaline, Li-ion, and Ni-MH. The receiver, when used in micro-power devices such as wireless sensors, instrumentation and controls, can charge batteries from more than 12m away from the included transmitter.

The custom battery-charging board offers various charging options as it enables the receiver to directly charge a Thinergy MEC, or to connect to the Thinergy application development platform for enhanced measurement and analysis. Other features of the charging board are charge voltage selection, nano-amp low-voltage cut-off, adjustable regulated output voltage, and I/O interfaces for the P2110 Powerharvester receiver.

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