The IDTechEx events on energy harvesting
and wireless sensor networks
are now in their 4th successful year. Their colocation in Europe and the USA has provided fertile ground for over 2000 attendees so far to network, interact and understand the way these technology sets will fertilise each other as they grow into significant markets in the next few years.
For the first time in this year's event in Washington DC on the 7th and 8th of November, a third event, focusing on supercapacitor technologies will be co-located, highlighting the advances, applications and adoption trends in this closely related field. Over 70 speakers on the three topics will cover the range of technologies, supply chain topics and deployments in different verticals, from portable devices all the way to city-sized, large-scale implementations.
There is a natural convergence between the development of low power electronics and sustainable power-generation from ambient sources. Energy harvesting
and storage technologies combine to enable new applications in a wide range of industries that benefit from improved performance characteristics over long periods of time. Existing applications are optimized and envisaged ones become possible.
As an example, releasing sensors from wires while solving the limitations arising from the use of batteries
enables their deployment in a multitude of applications that were not previously possible. Primary cell replacement issues, non-uniform power utilisation schemes and environmental considerations become non-issues, a fact that allows for the integration of wireless sensor functionality, realising performance and cost advantages over the lifetime of the envisaged applications.
The relevant verticals that benefit from these advances are diverse in the markets that they serve and include:
- Smart cities and civil infrastructure along with building and industrial integration
- Deployments in harsh environments such as: - oil and gas exploration, military and aerospace applications.
- Applications in consumer electronics, healthcare and pharmaceuticals or even in the automotive sector.
The inaugural event focusing on supercapacitor
technology will be discussing this emerging option for energy storage that is constantly gaining traction. Bridging the gap between capacitors and batteries
deliver high power and energy densities increasingly closer to rechargeable batteries, a characteristic suited for many current and future industry needs. From instant flashlight power in mobile technologies to instant acceleration power in an electric vehicle, they are substituting and supplementing the functions of rechargeable batteries. Primary applications in the next few years include replacing, protecting and enhancing batteries - with capacitor replacement usually only occurring in electronic applications.
Adopters and technology developers will be discussing latest needs and developments, with participating speakers representing companies such as Shell
, General Electric
, the Olympic Games Delivery Authority, BT's Innovation Centre but also entities such as the Department of Energy and the Department of Defence. Harvester developments will be discussed by EnOcean
, 311 Corporation in Japan and the National Institute of Aerospace
in the USA, wireless sensor developments will be covered by Columbia University
's "EnHANTs" project and the Oakridge National Laboratory while storage technologies will be covered by companies such as IPS, Nanocomp and Cella Energy