Practical Design Considerations for Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Applications (Energy Harvesting & Storage USA 2010)

Mr Sam Nork, Director of Boston Design Center
Linear Technology
United States
Nov 16, 2010.


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Presentation Summary

Scavenging energy from readily available sources offers the potential to power applications indefinitely without wires or batteries, or at minimum extend the operating times of battery-powered systems. However, successfully implementing a vibration energy harvesting solution requires detailed understanding of the vibration source characteristics and harvester / transducer output power capabilities as well as a detailed understanding of the system power needs. This presentation will describe characteristics of piezoelectric and electromagnetic induction generators and provide methods for characterizing a vibration source for peak acceleration and frequency modes. Generator open circuit voltage, maximum power point tracking, and charge storage methods for optimizing available system power will be discussed. Startup and quiescent power saving strategies will be provided using readily available piezoelectric generators and integrated circuits.

Speaker Biography (Sam Nork)

Sam Nork joined Linear Technology as a Senior Product Engineer at the company's Milpitas, CA headquarters in 1988. In 1994, he relocated to the Boston area to start up and manage an Analog IC Design Center where he continues to work today. Sam has personally designed and released numerous integrated circuits in the area of portable power management, and is inventor/co-inventor on 7 issued patents. As Director of Linear Technology's Boston Design Center, Sam leads a team of nearly 100 people and oversees day-to-day development activity for a wide variety of Analog integrated circuits in areas including portable power management, high speed op amps, industrial ADCs, system monitors and energy harvesting. Prior to joining Linear, Sam worked for Analog Devices in Wilmington, MA as a Product/Test Development Engineer. He received AB and BE degrees from Dartmouth College.

Company Profile (Linear Technology Corporation)

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