Energy Harvesting With Thin-Film GaAs Solar Cells (Energy Harvesting USA 2017)

Ian Murray, Engineer
Alta Devices
United States


USA 2017 Presentation - Alta Devices*
USA 2017 Audio Presentation - Alta Devices*
USA 2017 Video Presentation - Alta Devices*

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Presentation Summary

The Internet of Things (IoT) is poised to be everywhere but replacing batteries needed to run them can be costly. Energy harvesting of solar power allows IoT devices to be powered longer between maintenance or even indefinitely without battery replacement. Solar technology has improved, until recently the existing solar technology has been too bulky, too rigid, or not power efficient enough to use in a small remote IoT device. Recent advances have resulted in extremely lightweight and flexible thin-film Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) solar cells holding the world record single junction conversion efficiency of 28.8%. High power conversion efficiency enables getting more power from a smaller surface area to power the small IoT device longer.
Thin-film GaAs solar cells can harvest energy down to very low light levels below 200 Lux, where hundreds of micro-watts can still be harvested. A demonstration will be presented of an indoor BLE sensor device consuming 4 mW-hours per day powered entirely by a single GaAs solar cell with an energy storage device.

Speaker Biography (Ian Murray)

Ian joined Alta Devices as a Technical Marketing Engineer in October 2016. Ian focuses on the UAV and Space product division. Prior to joining Alta Devices, Ian served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps and has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University.

Company Profile (Alta Devices)

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Alta Devices is (em)Powering the Unplugged World™ by delivering the world's most efficient, thin and flexible mobile power technology. Converting light into electricity, Alta's technology extends the energy source of a system, and in many cases, completely cuts the traditional power cord. The solution can be completely integrated into the final system.
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