Pyroelectric material energy harvesting system design
Heat is an abundant resource that lacks efficient utilization. The merit of thin film pyroelectric material applied in harvesting energy from heat has been just
appreciated once more for its potential for high efficiency. Unlike thermoelectric material, pyroelectric material generates power from alternating electrical and
temperature stimuli. Recent literature in material science has shown great achievements on it, including studies on the composition, structure, optimized thermal cycle, etc. The main challenge of realizing its practical value lies in the ability to convert the generated power into usable electricity.
Due to the low power level (in milliwatt) of the material, the power electronic interface should not only have good power conditioning performance but high efficiency as well. We are developing an efficient energy harvesting circuit that is capable of (a) creating a voltage bias, which is in synchronization with the thermal cycle; and (b)extracting the generated power to applicable electricity, which can be used to light up the LED or charge the battery. This project is in collaboration with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL).