Design of an efficient ambient WiFi energy harvesting system

Design of an efficient ambient WiFi energy harvesting system

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This study is focused on equipping wireless devices (including sensors) with novel, high-efficiency circuitry to harvest and convert ambient radio frequency (RF) power to direct current (dc). Key components of this technology are (a) miniaturised antenna and (b) high-efficiency rectifying circuit. The first is responsible for capturing the RF waves, and the latter converts the RF energy to dc. A major challenge is the design of novel circuitry to generate a battery-like voltage from very low incoming RF energy. Under this study, the authors designed a novel RF power harvesting front-end whose conversion efficiency is significantly improved at low RF power levels (<−20 dBm) as compared to existing technologies. Thus, the new circuitry can harvest ambient and widely available RF energy, making a game changing technology for powering mobile devices. In this study, the authors demonstrate this technology by using it to power a commercially available temperature and humidity meter with an LCD display. The latter is powered using nothing more than ambient WiFi signals in an office environment.


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