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ENERGY HARVESTING USING MICRONANO SYSTEMS

Abstract Rapid development in technology, many


alternatives have been introduced to the world.
Most industries are moving towards energy
efficient methods and are showing interest in
micro/nano technologies. Though the components
are small in size, their performance is more
efficient when compared with other. Self Sufficient
Energy Harvesting in Robots and Inductive
Wireless Power Transmission are the methods
discussed in this paper. This type of technology
utilizes the surrounding energy to drive the system.
The benefits, drawbacks and scope of improvement
are discussed here.
I.

energy harvesting systems cater less maintenance,


lasts longer, green energy and consumes less power
and hence becomes essential part of managing
power systems. One of the main application of
energy harvesting technique. Their low power loss
for powering sensors by extracting the energy from
the surrounding makes it possible to erase the
necessity for batteries.
The general system usually targets to
achieve five things

INTRODUCTION

It is known that non-renewable energy like


fossil fuels and other sources are diminishing and
the need for alternate source of energy has become
urgent, to make the world a sustainable livelihood.
The major energy sources that are being used at the
present are coal, petroleum products, nuclear
energy, natural gas, wind and hydro energy. Though
the latest research has introduced sustainable energy
such as solar, geothermal, bio mass and fuel cells,
finding more alternatives has always been
encouraged. Due to the rapid development in
technology many developments has been achieved
in various fields, many industries are moving
towards energy efficient methods and are also
showing keen interest in Nano technology. The
components are very small in size but, the
performance are more efficient when compared with
others.
Energy
harvesting
using
MicroElectroMechanical-Systems
(MEMS)
or
Micro/Nano system. In this method the electrical
energy is produced by utilizing the environmental
energy on a direct basis. These

II.

To collect possible energy from


the source.

To convert the surrounding


energy to electrical energy.

To fix and save the most quantity


of electrical energy.

To balance the output voltage


equivalent based on their
application.

To transmit the electrical energy


to the capacity when needed.

ENERGY HARVESTING METHODS

Mechanical Vibrations (Piezoelectricity):


Defined as the conversion of mechanical energy into
electrical energy or vice versa[9]. The total
electricity production can be measured by
calculating the total force applied on the
piezoelectric device. The advantages have these
device is they have a large scope due to their power
generation from the ambient surrounding. They
have broad frequency and power ranges. The power
range of a piezoelectric device lies between 1-10
Mw/cm2.. As per available peizomaterials Zno
shows better performance compared to other
materials. These are used in micro and Nano
generators.
Electromagnetic
harvester:
Magnets
which are wobbling around produces vibrations.
Due to these vibrations micro currents are produced.
They work on the principle of faradays la. The
magnetic field generated from the transmitter is
transmitted in the wireless waves and the receiver on
the other end. The power density of these harvester
lies between 10-100 Mw/Cm-2.They are limited to
environmental conditions and they cannot be used
biological entities

Fig1-Wireless self-powered sensors

Pyro Nano Harvester: works on the


principle of seed back effect. The diffusion of charge
carriers on both the ends of the system is caused due
temperature difference. The pyroelectric Nano wires
are first used to convert heat energy to electrical
energy. The commonly used material is Zno. An
array of Zno Nano wires is coupled together. Due to
the property of semiconducting devices the Zno
produces electric field due polarization[10]. This
phenomenon is due to time dependent change in
temperature. They are fabricated by means of thin
films or composite material.

Biochemical: defined as the conversion of


chemical energy into electrical energy. Bio fuel cells
are powered biological enzymes, which catalyzes
the reaction. They are categorized into two types
microbial and enzymatic biofuel. The former uses
catalytic enzymes revolving around living cells and
latter covers up catalytic enzymes apart from living
cells. The advantages of these harvesters are
environmental friendly, cheap cost and abundant in
the environment. Their power range lies between
0.1-1 Mw/cm-2 . They are main used in devices
involving environmental monitoring and sensing.

III.

Thermal energy: This energy is gathered


by absorbing the temperature difference from the
surroundings. The heat extracted from the
surroundings is converted into useful electrical
energy. This system works when a thermocouple
circuit is exposed to ambient environment, joints at
the end of the couple is subjected to different
temperature. The difference in temperature will help
emf or electromotive force which is used to produce
electricity. This harvesters works on the principle
of seed back effect. The effectiveness of the devices
depends on the surrounding temperature. The
advantage of these harvesters are they have no
moving parts, can work for long time and
continuously and high actuality. The power density
of these devices lies between 10-100 wcm-2 .Their
field of use is wearable devices and structural health
monitoring.

APPLICATIONS

Mechanical Piezoelectric - Energy harvesting in


robots using Nano-technology:
This method is expected to deliver many benefits
mainly to automobile field and also in the field of
robotics. There are enormous amount of
developments that are occurring in this field are
very promising to us and they also improve our life
in many ways. Nano structures and materials are
mainly used to reduce the cost of manufacturing
and also improve the efficiency. The conventional
robot is capable of communicating with the
surrounding and is controlled through computer
programs. The robots are made up different
components like sensors, which help them to send
and receive signals. Nano robotics is an emerging
field one of the major objective of this is to reduce
the size to a Nano scale it is made up of a Nano sized
elements and has a smart structure to sense and
process information. It is very efficient and has its
application in various fields like medicine.
Energy harvesting in robots
This method is used to overcome the
problems that are stated above. In this method the
surrounding energy is used as the primary source of
energy to drive the systems. A perfect example for
one such application is in the field of medicine
where this method is used to cure diseases like
tumors and diabetes by penetrating into the body.
This has no effect on the human body. These robots
are very much sensitive to the energy, which is
generated by the human body and are influenced by
it.

Triboelectric Nano generator:


These
generator are designed with two polymers having
different triboelectric characteristics are stacked
together. When a mechanical force is applied on
both the ends of the polymer plates, equal amount of
charges arises from both ends of the plates. The
mechanical force is usually in the form friction or
surface roughness. Under current developments
these devices can produce an output voltage of 18 v
and a current density 0.13 uacm-2 [9].These devices
when developed can be used to harvest energy from
oceanic wave and human activities. They can
applied for medicinal use and personal electronics.

Various products are now available this is


mainly due to the increase in demand for these type
of products in various areas that includes all
consumer industry. Nano wires are mainly used for
energy harvesting and it is employed to Nano robots.
These wire have unique electrical properties and
also high aspect ratio and they have wide range of
possibilities. The use of Nano structure helps in
reducing the carbon-di-oxide and it also uses
renewable energy, which helps in reducing the total
cost of production and also improving the working

Figure2 Triboelectric Nano generator

of various devices. Enormous amount of interest is


being shown in this area to harvest energy with the
help of nano materials. This consists of various
materials like bulk Nano materials and Nano wires.

One of the most important and commonly


used applications of Nano wires is lasing of UV
caused by optical pumping [4]. Nano wires has very
high accuracy hence it will Cause high lasing Nano
cavity.

Light and solar energy harvesting

Piezoelectric mechanical-energy harvesting by


Nano technology

The Nano wires has a tendency to reflect


less and absorb more, the NW always scatters the
light to various parts and this increases it ability to
absorb more energy. The proper use of NW is
essential for monitor the various measurements.

Mechanical energy based on vibration is


very common Compared to thermal and solar forms
of energy [5][6]. Various Methods are available to
convert mechanical energy by piezoelectric effect
into Electrical energy. These materials have been
very commonly used because of their ability to
convert energy from mechanical to electrical
directly. Very high sensitivity and mechanical
properties differentiate Nano wires from others.

Figure3 - Nanowires in light trapping and transport


Zinc oxide (ZnO) Nanowires Based Quantum Dots
Sensitized Solar Cell:
ZnO based DSSC have high conversion
ratio. There are various drawbacks of
semiconductor QD which been used as a substitute
to dyes [1]. Sensitized Quantum dots will help to
improve absorbing capacity, which will help to
improve the light harvesting capacity [2].

Figure5 - Piezoelectric property of NW array

Thermoelectric energy harvesting


Enormous amount of interest has been given to
thermoelectric materials for electricity generation
from natural heat source. These materials help to
calculate temperature and cool devices by generating
electricity through thermo electric effect. They are
excellent conductors of current but are bad
conductors of heat. In a constant temperature
surrounding pyro electric effect is used to convert
heat to electricity [7].

Figure4-QD Sensitized solar cells


Applications of Nano wires:
UV photodiodes & optical switches
Examining tests Nano wires with very high
sensitivity are conducted [3]. The Nano wire
conductivity is very much sensitive to UV light. The
reversible switching of light is obtained by giving
more conductivity.
Nanowires lasers (ZnO)
Figure6 - Thermoelectric Nanowire Arrays

Almost
all
the
industries
like
communication, healthcare and entertainment use
rechargeable batteries as a source of energy. These
are one of the main causes for environmental
pollution. To overcome this many studies has been
carried out in the field of Nano technology to
produce energy from surroundings. Many studies
have been carried in this field to improve the
efficiency and also the types of harvesting methods.

solenoids and a pair of micro coil. The solenoid and


the coil is designed in such a way that they are
orthogonally to each other. This approach is used in
order to tackle the problems which are reviewed in
the beginning of the paper. When the central axes of
the micro receiver is disoriented with respect to the
center axis the micro transmitter, in this case still the
energy can be harvested from other pair of coils .In
order to increase the efficiency of the product an iron
core is used.

Problems Faced:
1.

Thermoelectric devices: These devices


attain more efficiency once their size is
reduced. They can be integrated with
others but the cost of that operation is very
high. The temperature has to be kept
constant during the operation.

2.

Piezoelectric devices: The cost and the


process of integration for this device are
extremely difficult. Extensive study is
going on in this field to increase the
efficiency of operation.

3.

Electromagnetic devices: This faces large


amount of challenge when its size is
reduced as far as MEMS process the
decrease in size makes it extremely
difficult to design.

The schematic diagram of the trio axis


micro power transmitter is given below. The
receevier consist of two pair of micro solenoids. The
two pair of micro solenoid is defined as Set A and
B in the diagram. The micro planar coil is mentioned
as Set C. The micro solenoid pairs A and B are
designed parallel to each other.

Electromagnetic Harvester - Inductive Wireless


Power Transmission(IWPT)

Figure7- Micro- solenoid Pair A/B

The given report review explains the power


generation for micro robots using three dimensional
energy harvester. For a micro robot to work for a
long period of time it needs continuous flow of
power. Due to area constraints the robot cannot be
designed with a battery or an electrical unit. To
overcome this constraints Inductive wireless power
transmission and MEMS energy harvester are
chosen to power the micro robots. The theory behind
MEMS Energy harvester is to obtain energy from
the surrounding environment and convert it into
useful electrical energy. This can be achieved either
using MEMS thermoelectric harvester or MEMS
vibration acoustic harvester. But for the MEMS to
work continuous for a long period of time, the
surroundings should generate or provide sufficient
energy intensity. Instead Inductively wireless power
transmission can be operated easily with a receiver
on the locomotive devices. The power obtained is
continuous stable. The IWPT proposed in this paper
is made up of magnetic flux transmitter and a
receiver 1, 2 The magnetic field is generated
magnetic flux transmitter, which is powered by an
alternative voltage supply. The electric power is
delivered to receiver in the form of magnetic field.
In this paper a tri axes micro powered receiver is
used. The receiver consists two pairs of micro

Figure8-Tri axis micro receiver with magnetic flux


direction.
The solenoid is wounded by of copper
wires and is same for the both the solenoids. A iron
core is installed inside the solenoids. The magnetic
flux generated by the transmitter is in X and Y
Direction are used or harvested by the pair of
Solenoids A and B. These solenoid A and B are
designed to be perpendicular to each other. The flux
outputted in the Z direction is used by the micro
planar coil Set c. This micro planar coil C is placed
at the center of the receiver. The micro planar coil
(SET C) consists of four micro coils which are
identical to each other and they are named as C1, C2,
C3, C4. The coils are embedded with a iron core and
enclosed around the z axis. The magnetic flux which
is produced in the vicinity of receiver can be
harvested by the SET A, B, C.
The device is
designed in such a way that in whatever way the
devices rotates or moves the coils can harvest the
magnetic flux generated be the receiver. The

receiver is embedded to the locomotive micro


device. By this design the misalignment problem
can be reduced greatly. As we know the induced
voltage is directly proportional to rate of change of
magnetic flux to cross sectional area of the coil. The
iron core, whose material as the ability to attract
magnetic flux. So if there is any other magnetic flux
generated by the ambient environment will be
absorbed by the core. This will improve the
efficiency of the system

Figure10-Induced voltage graph1

Figure9-Experimental setup of the apparatus

The induced voltage at the receiver is given


by the equation
[9]

Figure11-Induced Voltage graph2

This equation can be rewritten as

IV.
(1)

Nano and micro-structures are in the


beginning stage of development. As time proceeds
there will be consider development in this field. The
distance between the device and the application has
to be improved by using smarter wireless products
and additional coatings on existing devices will
improve the operational performance of the system.
In case micro scale resonant harvesters the
maximum possible usage is 50 percent. But this can
be eliminated by using 3d fabrication technology.
The thermoelectric energy harvesters available in
the market can achieve only 0.6 percent efficiency.
After time scale of 5 years a factor 2 can be
achieved. For piezoelectric energy harvesters
structure of the material has to be improved in micro
and Nano scale. This will in turn improve the
performance parameters. The energy loosed due
circuitry and other factors has to be reduced. After
couple of years the development in micro and Nano
robots might help in reducing the carbon footprint.
The micro/ Nano robots will be helpful to detect and
prevent most of the diseases at earlier stages. For
these systems to work continuously efficient
batteries has to be developed in Nano and micro
scale.

By stokes theorem, the magnetic flux can be written


down as
*

FUTURE SCOPE

(2)

By using equation 1 and 2, The total induced voltage


can be added up to

Based on the equation the calculated values are


plotted in a graph

V.

CONCLUSION

e Energia: MEFTE - 2009, Braganca, Setembro,


2009.

Energy harvesting from surrounding


environment is a active topic. Due to advancement
of science the micro/Nano technology, material
which consume less energy are fabricated and
tested. But providing them with continuous source
of power for a long time is still a great issue.
However the vibrations produced from ambient
sources proved to be better energy harvesting
technique compared to other sources of energy.
Apart from energy harvesting, most of the power
produced by these devices are lost due to circuitry.
In order to make an ideal system the issues caused
by the circuit design has to be overcome.
VI.

[10] Y. Yang, W. X. Guo, K. C. Pradel, G. Zhu, Y.


S. Zhou, Y. Zhang, Y. F. Hu, L. Lin, Z. L. Wang,
Nano Letters 2012, 12, 2833 2838. .

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