Energy harvesting systems are devices that can convert solar power, thermal energy, wind power, mechanical energy and electromagnetic energy into electrical power and save in batteries or super capacitors.
An energy harvesting system is composed of energy collection, energy storage and power management. The energy collection is responsible for capturing the energy that is available in different forms such as solar power, and converting it into electrical power. The electrical power is stored in batteries or super capacitors to feed other devices.
The power management converts the stored power into different voltage and current levels for satisfying the different needs of powered devices.
The common application of the energy harvesting systems can be found in wireless network sensors or wireless detection devices. Owing to the low efficiency of energy harvesting and the scarcity and instability of the available power sources, it is required to select the powered devices featuring low power-consumption to ensure proper operations. For example, the selected MCU would be generally supposed to have a low power, high integration and sleep mode. The selected wireless module would be working based on the low-power transmission protocols such as the ZigBee built on IEEE 802.15.4.