ENERGY HARVESTERS AND ENERGY PROCESSING CIRCUITS

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The area of energy harvesting has seen significant interest in academic circles over the past decade. With the

recent introduction of commercial ICs geared for energy harvesting applications by multiple semiconductor

companies, this area is poised to take the next step to commercial adoption. However, challenges remain in the

widespread adoption of energy harvesting solutions primarily owing to the limitations in average power output.

A sound understanding of the energy flow within the harvesting system (from energy extraction to energy

delivery) is crucial in overcoming these challenges.

In this tutorial, we will talk about the basics of commonly used energy harvesters and how their characteristics

differ from conventional energy sources. Specialized circuits used to optimize energy extraction from different

harvesters will be reviewed. The second part of the tutorial will talk about energy processing circuits like chargers,

DC-DC converters and protection circuits for energy storage elements. Theoretical considerations in designing

these circuits will be discussed and examples of practical implementations from commercial ICs will be presented.

Instructor: Yogesh Ramadass

Yogesh Ramadass received his B.Tech. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in 2004 and

the S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 2006 and 2009. He is currently working as a

lead design engineer at Texas Instruments where he is focused on architecting and designing power converters

and mixed-signal circuits for energy harvesting, wireline and wireless charging applications. Dr. Ramadass was

awarded the President of India Gold Medal in 2004. He was a co-recipient of the Jack Kilby best student paper

award at ISSCC 2009 and the Beatrice Winner award for editorial excellence at ISSCC 2007. He serves on the

Technical Program Committee for ISSCC and ISLPED. He served as the chair of the ‘Analog, MEMS, Mixed Signal

and Imaging Electronics’ committee at ISLPED 2012.

In this tutorial, we will talk about the basics of commonly used energy harvesters and how their characteristics differ from conventional energy sources. Specialized circuits used to optimize energy extraction from different harvesters will be reviewed. The second part of the tutorial will talk about energy processing circuits like chargers, DC-DC converters and protection circuits for energy storage elements. Theoretical considerations in designing these circuits will be discussed and examples of practical implementations from commercial ICs will be presented.

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