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EnerChip Energy Processor

EnerChip™ Energy Processor CBC915

In order to create high efficiency Energy Harvesting-based systems, it is imperative to optimize the electronics for:

  • High efficiency EH transducer input power conversion
  • Energy storage
  • Energy storage device management
  • Power output regulation
  • Energy Aware system management

The EnerChip EP CBC915 performs these tasks with high efficiency at the micropower or even nanopower level using advanced circuit design techniques and ultra low power electronics. Click here for the CBC915 Datasheet.

Image of Cymbet EnerChip Energy Processor CBC915-ACA

The EnerChip Energy Processor uses an advanced patent-pending Maximum Peak Power Tracking algorithm that constantly matches the EH transducer output impedance. MPPT is the most efficient method of converting energy from an EH transducer, and is superior to charge accumulation techniques that do not match the impedance of the transducer to the power conversion stage. The EnerChip EP operates in multiple modes and can communicate with microcontrollers. The EP manages all aspects of energy storage devices/peripherals and uses intelligent power management during the start-up initialization sequence. The EP operates at 10X less power than other EH power management units.

The EnerChip EP CBC915-ACA is an ASSP (Application Specific Standard Product) in a standard 38 pin TSSOP package. Just like the EnerChip, it comes on tape and reel for SMT assembly and reflow soldering. Get more information in the EnerChip EP Brochure.

EnerChip EP Universal Energy Harvesting Eval Kit

The EnerChip Energy Processor CBC915-ACA is the heart of the new Cymbet CBC-EVAL-09 Universal Energy Harvesting Eval Kit. Click here for the video of the EnerChip EP EVAL-09 that demonstrates solar, thermoelectric, piezoelectric and electromagnetic EH transducers. The EVAL-09 Datasheet is on the Products/Evaluation Kit page - click on the EVAL-09 photo below for additional information.

CBC-EVAL-09 EnerChip EP Universal Energy Harvesting EVAL Kit

EnerChip EP Enables New Applications

There are many exciting new applications that could use Energy Harvesting for powering devices. However, utilizing the “free” ambient energy surrounding a system is a complex design challenge. There are many questions to answer:

  • How to interface to energy harvesting transducers?
  • How to convert low input power with high efficiency?
  • How to manage energy storage?
  • How to control power to the rest of the system?
  • How to best manage the system power states?
  • How to make the entire system “Energy Aware”?

The EnerChip Energy Processor solves these challenges by implementing an intelligent integrated approach to Energy Harvesting power management. The EnerChip EP is the key enabler for Zero Power devices. Depending on the needs of your Energy Harvesting based design either the EnerChip EP CBC915 or the EnerChip CC CBC3150 will meet your needs.

Every Energy Harvesting-based project has unique requirements. To jump start your project, please call our Cymbet Applications Team at +1 763-633-1780 or drop us a note via our Applications Support Form.

Calculating Power Budget

In order to power systems using ambient energy harvesting, several factors must taken into consideration to calculate the power required to operate the system in various states:

1 - Identify the sources of ambient energy to be used and the type of Energy Harvesting transducer to be used

2 - Characterize the power output of the EH transducer over various ambient conditions

3 - Looking at all the system components, calculate the power required for all states operation (e.g. sleep, sensing, wireless)

4 - Identify the EH conversion and power management electronics to be used and add the power used to the overall total.

5 - Size the energy storage device (solid state battery) to cover all the system energy storage and power delivery requirements.

Reference schematics of these systems can be found in the Cymbet EVAL-09 datasheet and the EVAL-10 data sheet.


EH Transducers

EH Transducers exist for several forms of ambient energy harvesting. The following table shows the fundamental characteristics of each:

Image of Energy harvesting Transducers.

Maximum Peak Power Tracking

To optimize the performance of energy harvesting based systems, it is critical the high efficiency energy conversion technique of maximum peak power tracking (MPPT) be used. MPPT can adapt to either constant impedance or variable impedance EH transducers. MPPT is used to match the impedance between the energy harvesting transducer and the system load as seen in the diagrams below. The EnerChip EP Energy Processor CBC915 implements an optimized version of MPPT.

Image of Maximum Peak Power Tracking

Design Tips

When building energy harvesting based systems the following 10 Tips and Techniques will help improve system performance:

1 - Optimize for low average power in the system.

2 - Firmware efficiency is key; no loops, etc.

3 -Use hardware timers and interrupts. Isolate loads; all loads should be switchable.

4 - Watch power leaks via back-feeding other devices.

5 - Net power is a tradeoff between dynamic and static power. Quick processing with high power may be better than slow processing with low power.

6 - Usually better to process data and send result vs. sending data for processing elsewhere.

7 - Wireless protocols and topology must be minimized.

8 - Power up sequencing – must understand implications of when to power each device along with other devices.

9 - Every MCU vendor provides hints and tricks to minimize power.

10 - Use Energy Processing devices that provide status indications so informed power management choices can be made.

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