Embedded Power Management And Control For Harvested Energy
Small-scale, low-mass embedded systems have received significant interest in a variety of applications as the capabilities of embedded electronics have increased. Examples of new realizable applications are self-reliant bio-loggers and tracking tags for small animals. Due to the small scale and low power levels, the power management for these systems presents significant challenges. In this dissertation, research will be presented on various aspects of the flow of energy on a self-reliant embedded system. First, an investigation into the dynamics of combining the power from multiple energy harvesting devices will be shown. The work provides guidelines for energy harvesting systems combining photovoltaic and piezoelectric devices as well as an array of multiple piezoelectric devices. Using the knowledge gained from this work, effective multi-source energy harvesting systems can be designed. Next, a novel method for the low-loss AC-DC rectification of a vibration energy harvester is presented and evaluated. The new rectification technique allows for more efficient power conversion in addition to the rectification of low-voltage harvesting systems. This is performed without active electrical circuitry and does not require external power sources for full operation. The last topic is the investigation of the energy storage design challenges for a self-reliant avian bio-logger. Prototypical operation requirements are developed to determine the most pertinent challenges and a preliminary system design is presented and evaluated. Using the analyses performed on the prototypical system, new small-scale self-reliant embedded systems can be realized to further increase the tools scientists have at their disposal for understanding the behavior of small animals.
energy harvesting; power management; energy storage
Hencey, Brandon M.; Lal, Amit
Ph. D., Mechanical Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis