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Business and Technology Insight Forums Osaka 2016

All Insight Forums will be conducted in English

September 26-28, 2016 | Osaka, Japan

Grand Cube Osaka (Osaka International Convention Center)
5-3-51, Nakanoshima Kita-ku, Osaka 530-0005 JAPAN

Rooms: 801/802

Energy Harvesting:
Technology & Markets


Energy Harvesting (EH) is the creation of electricity off-grid where it is needed. EH uses ambient energy such as light, infrared, movement, temperature change, temperature difference and friction. By 2025 the market for the EH transducers and power conditioning will be over $12 billion and growing very rapidly.

This session reflects the fact that EH is now one subject from microwatts to megawatts because the same technologies, suppliers and users are increasingly involved. For example, Witt Energy expect to electrodynamically gather energy from milliwatts to a megawatt by capturing both linear and rotational energy in 3D. Magnetostrictive previously used at microwatts is now being trialled for hundreds of kilowatts of wave energy. New forms of photovoltaics span all power levels. Thermoelectrics, traditionally very low power, is now trialled at 1.5 kW output in giant construction vehicles. Will 1kW be generated from heat of conventional engines and range extenders in cars as some believe?

In this session we first cover the biggest market - that for high power energy harvesting (HPEH) at 10W to 100 kW or more. That is newly achieved by "Airborne Wind Energy AWE" involving tethered aircraft, helium-filled turbines in the air and kite power. HPEH is seen in solar wings on planes aloft for years and photovoltaics on boats that go around the world on sunshine alone. It is achieved by the planned energy harvesting shock absorbers powering active suspension in vehicles and by planned reversing alternators with torque assist in conventional cars. There are already high-speed low-weight flywheels generating electricity from vehicles slowing down and much more. There are even solar, piezoelectric and electrodynamic road and other surfaces coming along.

Learn why Google, Facebook, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Airbus, Komatsu, Caterpillar, Toyota, Ricoh and other famous names are heavily involved, often with several technologies. We cover multi-mode energy harvesting coming in. It started with the small wind turbine for bad weather coupled to photovoltaics PV for good weather on boats and road signs. More sophisticated versions are on the way, particularly in electric land, air and water vehicles. "Structural electronics" will see load-bearing structures acting as energy harvesting and storage in buildings ("Building Integrated Photovoltaics BIPV") and in vehicles. This reduces weight and cost of ownership and increases reliability.

The second part of this session concerns low-power energy harvesting such as provision of milliwatts for sensors and their telematics. Here there are many new formats for such applications including transparent, stretchable, flexible versions, weavable e-fiber and large-area printed versions. Consider the newly announced EH from stretching of special elastic tape and cloth. It involves two types of piezoelectric and one type of capacitive harvesting. The three options are being developed by different research teams seeking milliwatts rather than the current microwatts.

EH issues are clarified such as the quest for replacing lead, bismuth, cadmium and other toxins in photovoltaics, piezoelectrics and thermoelectrics and avoiding potentially expensive rare earth magnets in electrodynamics. The burgeoning variety of electrodynamic options is explained and the segments of the market are forecasted to 2025. The competition between primary and rechargeable batteries and EH is explored. We examine why EH is not a widely popular answer in the short time for charging of mobile phones and wearable electronics and contactless charging from AC mains is currently more attractive.

All Insight Forums will be conducted in English



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Forum 5 / Agenda

28 September / Morning / Rooms 801/802

IDTechEx Japanese Analysts Yasuo Yamamoto and Miwako Murakoshi, will be available at this Insight Forum for further discussion.

Please join IDTechEx Analysts for lunch and networking from 13:00-14:00


  • 8:30 - 9:10
  • Registration
  • 09:10 - 10:20

Energy Harvesting Technologies and Uses: Overview

Compiled by Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman, IDTechEx.

  • Definitions, market drivers, features, types, gaps in the market microwatt-megawatt off-grid, why EH is sometimes abandoned, forecasts, transducer options compared, materials opportunities, systems. Low vs high power, maturity, needs and solutions by power level, applications by hype, type and location.
  • 10:20 -10:40
  • Networking Break
  • 10:40 - 11:20

Energy Harvesting Technologies and Systems

Compiled by Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman, IDTechEx.

  • Electrodynamic: Human powered, vibration, rotating electric machine technology REM in vehicles land, water and air for external harvesting and regeneration, Airborne Wind Energy AWE
  • Photovoltaic: Overview, pn vs alternatives, important parameters, performance beyond silicon by technology, nantenna-diode, wafer vs thin film, solar roads, building integrated photovoltaics, energy independent vehicles.
  • Importance of multi-mode energy harvesting: Co-located, Co-ordinated, Co-packaged to Complete
  • Electrostatic energy harvesting: Triboelectric, capacitive including electret and Dielectric Elastomer Generators DEG
  • 11:20 - 12:30

Piezoelectric and Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting

Compiled by Dr Harry Zervos, Principal Analyst, IDTechEx

  • Piezoelectrics: Overview, basic principles, cantilever devices, resonance frequencies, the importance of wide bandwidth harvesting, application sectors targeted, market uptake.
  • Thermoelectrics: Basic principles,suitability of different materials for different operational environments, figure of merit ZT, established and emerging material systems, products, applications sectors and market uptake.
  • Case study: Photovoltaics in indoor applications
    As photovoltaics is one of the most popular EH technologies, this section will focus on understanding the indoor segment of application for photovoltaics, looking at what opportunities exist for energy harvesters that operate in environments characterized by lower levels of brightness than what can be found outdoors.
  • 12:30 - 13:00
  • Questions and Answers
    followed by networking and lunch
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Timings and the agenda are subject to change

About IDTechEx

Since 1999 IDTechEx has provided independent market research, business intelligence and events on emerging technologies to clients in over 80 countries. Our clients use our insights to help make strategic business decisions and grow their organizations. IDTechEx is headquartered in Cambridge, UK with additional offices in Boston, USA; Berlin, Germany; Tokyo, Japan; and Seoul, Korea.

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