• Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

Micropower and nano-generators, is it really a thing?

sram

Member
I came across this wikipedia article which talks about micropower and describes it as some type of very tiny generators which can be used to power small electronic devices. Can you really fabricate the components of a generator from silicon?? It sounds too good to be true for me, but I'm not knowledgeable enough. Our world is full of surprises!


I'm questioning the credibility of the article because anybody can edit in wikipedia. I tried to search it but couldn't find any entries for it in google. Maybe because the term micropower is not distinctive. Or do they mean microelectronics which can harvest heat to produce electricity? But in the article they mention that the components of a turbine engine are fabricated from silicon?!!!!

Are they the same as nanogenerators?
 

rjenkinsgb

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
These are a commercial product example:

The force used to press the button generates a tiny amount of energy, bu enough to activate a short range radio transmitter that sends a signal to a remote receiver.
 

ronsimpson

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I was working on a power supply that collected power over time and stored it on a capacitor. Every time there was enough power to transmit the micro powered up measured, sent data and went back to sleep. Things like outdoor temperature does not need to be measured 10 times/second. Once every 10 minutes is fine.
Try searching "Energy Harvesting".
 

sram

Member
I read about energy harvesting before. What they do is try to acquire energy from the surroundings. With micropower, they say that there is a genuine generator but it is so tiny. To me, energy harvesting and micropower are two different things.
 

alec_t

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
they say that there is a genuine generator but it is so tiny.
What powers/rotates/drives the generator? The energy needed has to come from somewhere.
 

ronsimpson

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I saw a project where students were trying to measure truck tire pressure while the truck drove. You can not run a power wire to a tire. They used a Piezoelectric stick with a weight on the end. Vibrations from the road made a very small amount of power that was saved up until there was enough power to run the sensor and transmitter for very short time. (some thing like taking a tweeter speaker and shaking it until you get 'nano' energy)
 

Diver300

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
From what I have seen there is only tiny amounts of energy available. In specific circumstances, mainly sensors, you can get enough energy to be useful.

Thermoelectric generators and very small scale solar are examples of similar arrangements.
 

Latest threads

EE World Online Articles

Loading
Top