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Using the EnerChip™ CC in Energy Harvesting Designs

EnerChip CC Overview

Cymbet EnerChipTM solid state batteries are highly rechargeable energy storage devices packaged in low profile, surface mount, solder reflowable packages. Their low self-discharge, high charge-discharge cycle life, and ability to accept very low input charging current combine to make them ideally suited as energy storage devices in low power applications. These include backup power sources for real-time clocks, microcontrollers, and memory chips to maintain operation during periods when main power is interrupted. EnerChips are also well suited as energy storage devices for wireless sensor nodes where energy is harvested from ambient power sources. The integrated battery and power management circuitry included in the EnerChip CC products provides supply voltage threshold detection, an automatic energy storage switchover function, and EnerChip charge-discharge control circuitry - all in a compact surface mount package that includes the EnerChip storage device. Figure 1 depicts the EnerChip CC surface mount package and the CBC-EVAL-10 development module designed for evaluating the EnerChip CC devices in energy harvesting applications.

EnerChip CC Energy Harvesting

The EnerChip CC can be configured to collect energy from transducers such as low power photovoltaic (PV) cells and use that harvested energy to charge the integrated EnerChip and deliver self-sustaining power to components such as microcontrollers, sensors, and radios in wireless systems. Figure 2 illustrates a typical implementation of the EnerChip CC in energy harvesting applications. In order to make most efficient use of the power available from the transducer (for example, a PV cell), it is necessary to know the electrical characteristics including voltage and peak power point of the transducer being used. This Application Note describes a low cost energy harvesting circuit using the EnerChip CC to collect, convert, store, and deliver to the system components the energy available from power transducers such as small photovoltaic cells.

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