A Single Inductor, Multiple Input Piezoelectric Interface Circuit Capable of Harvesting Energy from Asynchronously Vibrating Sources



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The energy harvesting industry has seen steady growth in recent years. This growth has been driven by the increasing demand for remote sensing, implantable technologies, and increased battery life in mobile and hand held devices. Due to the limited amount of energy available from ambient sources, any system that attempts to harness energy from them should necessarily be highly efficient to make the net output power useful.

A lot of work has been done on minimizing losses in piezoelectric energy harvesters. Most of this has however been limited to harvesters with single vibration sources or multiple sources vibrating synchronously. This work presents a multiple input piezoelectric energy harvester capable of harvesting from multiple piezoelectric energy sources vibrating asynchronously (at different frequencies, or at the same frequency but in different phases) using a single inductor. The use of a single inductor eliminates the extra quiescent power consumption, component count, printed circuit board real estate that would have been incurred by using a one inductor per input device.

The inductor is time shared between three input devices using a digital control circuit which regulate access to the inductor while avoiding any destructive interaction between the input devices. The chip was designed in a 0.18?m technology and achieves a conversion efficiency of 60%. Testing with three asynchronously vibrating sources shows that the chip extracts maximum power from all inputs simultaneously, independent of vibration frequency or phase.