EnerPak Energy Harvester - Power Management for WSN's
Solving Energy Harvesting Power Management for Wireless Sensor Networks
Quite simply, the EnerPak solves the energy harvesting power problem for wireless sensor networks (WSN). Applications requiring complex data sets, continuous monitoring of data, and high frequency of data communications have power requirements that can not be accommodated with primary batteries or most other energy harvesting-based power supplies. These power hungry applications quickly exhaust the capacity of primary batteries, requiring frequent replacement. Typical power storage devices such as thin film batteries and supercapacitors lack sufficient capacity. Rechargeable/secondary power storage such as lithium batteries lack sufficient recharge cycle lifetimes. As a result, there is a growing need for more useful and long-lived po
er to address these demanding WSN powering applications.
The EnerPak power management system optimally extra
cts energy from different types of energy harvesters and efficiently manages the utilization of the extracted energy through a unique combination of optimally sized supercapacitors and rechargeable batteries. The result is that EnerPak delivers both the peak and sustained power levels expected in power-demanding industrial and military wireless sensor network applications—and it will provide this power continuously throughout the life of the sensor.
The longest running field test of energy harvesting-based power supplies validates the EnerPak performance. In a data acquisition environment where primary batteries were exhausted in less than eight weeks, eight pre-production EnerPaks integrated with small solar cells have been powering eight electric utility substation transformer gas sensors operating in a mesh WSN since September 2008. Each EnerPak has achi
eved over 75,000 discharge-charge cycles, and counting, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Absolutely no failures have occurred in the power supplies exposed to this relatively harsh, southwest environment.
The EnerPak power supply is compatible with a variety of energy harvesters, employing discrete components coupled with the optimally rated supercapacitors and rechargeable battery for a given application. The circuit can easily be incorporated into an integrated circuit of its own, or integrated into other sensor, microcontroller, harvester, or energy storage devices.
This alleviates the need for end users to delay their WSN applications awaiting breakthroughs in transducer performance and sensor power levels—these applications can be addressed today with EnerPak. In addition, TPL has integrated a photovoltaic-powered EnerPak with a high-resolution digital video camera to achieve a self-powered, wireless surveillance system.
TPL is seeking opportunities with end users, systems integrators, harvested energy generator companies, sensor manufacturers, and rechargeable batteries and supercapacitor companies to integrate EnerPak technology into their products.