Energy harvesting - the big picture

Energy harvesting - the big picture

Energy harvesting - the big picture
Energy harvesting is producing electricity where it is needed using ambient power. The term is most commonly applied to small devices such as in the emerging market for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) that the Koreans call Ubiquitous Sensor Networks (USN). However, there is emerging very large business for energy harvesting as structural electronics as described in the new IDTechEx report Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts. That encompasses large numbers of self-powered sensors in bridges using vibration harvesting from piezoelectric, photovoltaics and other energy harvesting technologies and the smart car, smart dance floor and smart aircraft with smart skin involved. It also includes the newly hot topic of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) where the photovoltaic vanishes from sight on a new building in the form of energy harvesting with transparent windows and more as we investigated in a recent visit to ITRI Taiwan and other interviews across the world.
 
The big picture of energy harvesting reveals very mature sectors such as the electrodynamic harvesting of the bike dynamo to reinvented as regenerative braking in an electric car to the piezoelectric gas lighter but there are far more slow growth very early stage forms of energy harvesting than fast growing mid stage ones or saturating mature ones as shown below. See the IDTechEx reports on energy harvesting including Energy Harvesting/Regeneration for Electric Vehicles Land, Water & Air 2012-2022.
Top image: GlassonWeb