In physics, energy is expressed as a quantitative property, typically defined as a capacity for doing work.
Within our local environment energy can be found in different forms such as:
In physics, the law of conservation of Energy, states that Energy can neither be created or destroyed, energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another.
For example, during a normal working day for an average person, food that is consumed contains chemical energy. The body then converts the chemical energy into varying forms which allows the individual to carry out day-to-day activities.
It is even the case that energy in various forms are being converted in real time during the process of displaying the content of this page. The main intended result is the transformation of energy into visible light radiation by the display interface, however, heat is also generated in the form of thermal radiation which is an unintended by-product of the transformation process.
The conversion of Energy is a continues process in everyday life and generally goes unnoticed. However, the abundance of energy forms that are available within the local environment present an opportunity to capture a form of Energy and harness it for other purposes, often referred to as Energy Harvesting.
Typically, methods of fixed wired energy harvesting are best represented by renewable sources of energy that rely on being physically wired to an electrical grid and associated infrastructure which in turn fulfill the energy demand of the connected systems. Examples of two such renewable sources of fixed wired energy harvesting systems which are common place are that of Solar Panels and Wind Turbines. These two types systems have physical wiring used to distribute the electrical energy where required.
Wireless Energy Harvesting- captures energy from the local environment to be harvested and converted into differing energy forms to power small devices engineered to achieve a desired function. Some of the available energy forms present within the local environment may be unintended by-products of the energy transformation process; whilst other forms are naturally occurring. Examples of such are the movement of an object such as a physical switch or lever by an individual, which presents a form of kinetic energy to be harvested. Whilst other forms may be light and heat radiation emitted by the sun or by locally powered lighting and heating systems.
DID YOU KNOW THERE IS ENOUGH UNTAPPED ENERGY WITHIN THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT TO POWER SMALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES THAT DON’T REQUIRE BATTERIES OR CABLING?
Through innovation in technologies, energy harvesting has been coupled with small electronic devices that require extremely low levels of power to operate. This combination of technologies has triggered the advent of small self-powering devices which are able to replace traditional fixed-wired systems. Furthermore, this has significantly reduced installation costs over systems that require physical cabling to function.
Through energy harvesting, small electronic devices can be powered by harnessing energy that already exists in our local environment. The harvested energy forms can then be converted to power a device through the following harvesting methods:
Energy from a switching operation or a lever
Solar Cells are able to harvest energy, even in low lighting conditions within a building
Harnessing heat dissipation as the energy source such as radiator valves
Rotation converters are able to harvest energy from a rotating instrument or device such as a water meter or gas meter
Energy converted through the all types of vibrations such as engines and motors