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A triple hybrid micropower generator with simultaneous multi-mode energy harvesting

Külah, Haluk
This study presents a triple hybrid energy harvesting system that combines harvested power from thermoelectric (TE), vibration-based electromagnetic (EM) and piezoelectric (PZT) harvesters into a single DC supply. A power management circuit is designed and implemented in 180 nm standard CMOS technology based on the distinct requirements of each harvester, and is terminated with a Schottky diode to avoid reverse current flow. The system topology hence supports simultaneous power generation and delivery from low and high frequency vibrations as well as temperature differences in the environment. The ultra-low DC voltage harvested from TE generator is boosted with a cross-coupled charge-pump driven by an LC oscillator with fully-integrated center-tapped differential inductors. The EM harvester output was rectified with a self-powered and low drop-out AC/DC doubler circuit. The PZT interface electronics benefits from peak-to-peak cycle of the harvested voltage through a negative voltage converter followed by synchronous power extraction and DC-to-DC conversion through internal switches, and an external inductor. The hybrid system was tested with a wearable in-house EM energy harvester placed wrist of a jogger, a commercial low volume PZT harvester, and DC supply as the TE generator output. The system generates more than 1.2 V output for load resistances higher than 50 k Omega, which corresponds to 24 mu W to power wearable sensors. Simultaneous multi-mode operation achieves higher voltage and power compared to stand-alone harvesting circuits, and generates up to 110 mu W of output power. This is the first hybrid harvester circuit that simultaneously extracts energy from three independent sources, and delivers a single DC output.