Energy Harvesting Helps Power Sensors for the Internet of Things

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Energy harvesting can power the many sensors that are associated with the Internet of Things, says Terry Pennisi, CEO and founder of  Jennova in this podcast interview (click on the player above to listen).

When there’s energy available as the result of fans or motors running, this energy can be harvested to power things like sensors that send data to the Internet, he explains.

“You have waste energy available, and you harvest it to make it useable, for example, for the Internet of Things,” Pennisi says in the interview.

Energy harvesting can power sensors that provide valuable real-time information to the Internet, he says.  Or, energy harvesting can power things like LED flashlights, he says.

Basically, the technology can be hooked up to anything rotating, like a fan, he explains. “We attach magnets to generate sharp pulses. Our circuit amplifies the pulses.” The harvesters collect and store energy that can power many different types of devices.

“Our energy harvesting is not practical for home use,” he says. “But industrial pumps and motors are running all the time” and energy can be harvested from that constant motion.
The market for energy harvesting technology is driven in part by environmentally conscious companies using sensors to measure and meter their energy and water use, he says in the interview.
“A growing group of manufacturers and retailers want to become sustainable.  They want to mange energy and want their supply chain to be sustainable. This is a growing consciousness, and is a great movement.  How do you know how much gas or electricity you’re using? A person with a clipboard used to collect data. Today you put sensors on water meters and electric meters and have real time data monitoring.”
And with energy harvesting powering the sensors, the companies can become just a little bit more sustainable.
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  1. Can this be used on an electric bike to recharge the battery?