ST samples energy harvesting IC
ST is sampling an energy harvesting chip which converts solar or thermal energy into electricity. Applications can vary from requirements for a few microwatts up to several milliwatts.
Production starts next quarter and it costs $1.15.
The SPV1050 can have both 1.8V and 3.3V regulators to power a companion microcontroller or wireless transmitter directly without requiring additional components.
Maximum Power-Point Tracking (MPPT) continuously optimises energy harvesting, or can be disabled.
The battery-charging circuitry supports a wide variety of battery types including lithium-ion and lithium-polymer, lithium thin-film solid state, NiMH and NiCd, as well as supercapacitors.
“Energy harvesting delivers environmental benefits and helps reduce equipment ownership costs, and is used increasingly as energy-conversion efficiency rises and typical system power demands fall,” says ST’s Matteo Lo Presti.
Inside the chip a buck-boost converter allows the device to connect to either TEG or indoor/outdoor solar-energy harvesting modules by providing a wide input-voltage range from 180mV to 8V.
Average operating efficiency of 90% allows fast battery charging even at low input power levels, while minimum MPPT accuracy of 90% maximizes energy extraction from solar or TEG sources.
The integrated battery-charging controller uses under-voltage and end-of-charge thresholds, and provides safe control logic to prevent excessive discharging for longer battery life.