ST samples energy harvesting IC

ST SPV1050 Block Diagram

ST SPV1050 Block Diagram

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.

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