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Newell, D;Duffy, M
Ieee Transactions On Power Electronics
Demonstrating the Scope of a Switched Supercapacitor Circuit for Energy Harvesting Powered Wireless Sensor Loads
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This paper describes the design of a high-efficiency energy management system for low-power, low-voltage energy harvesting powered wireless sensor systems. With typical voltages of less than 1 V and power levels lower than 1 mW, there are significant challenges when applying energy harvesting sources to supply pulsed power levels of up to 120 mW at voltage levels of 1.8-4 V as required by wireless sensor loads. The proposed approach integrates energy storage elements within a voltage step-up circuit to produce a new high-efficiency energy management circuit that converts the energy produced by a low-power, low-voltage source into a series of high power pulses. An optimized switched supercapacitor energy buffer circuit including a self-powered control circuit is proposed. Efficiencies of up to 91% are shown for an indoor solar cell source with a power level of 0.5 mW, supplying an equivalent wireless sensor with pulsed power levels of 10-120 mW. This is significantly higher than 83% achieved for the dc-dc stage of the existing best solution under the same source conditions, but requires an additional conversion step to provide high power pulses.
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