The PERPS project proposes a holistic approach to the development of feasible and sustainable innovative, technical solutions for the perpetual operation of IoT edge nodes and portable/wearable electronics. The proposed studies aim to the development of methods, as well as specific power supply units, which will enable current and future embedded networked systems to operate globally by harvesting energy from their surroundings, adapting optimally to the time-varying available ambient energy content.
The project’s baseline innovation lays in the combination of a novel energy conversion integrated circuit (ENC IC), with real-time S/W algorithms, in order to allow the predictive estimation of energy availability at the system’s installation site, taking into consideration (hidden) repetitive patterns in the ambient energy signal. Energy estimations will trigger the node’s power management system, in order to optimally adapt power consumption to ensure survivability. To maximize gains and scope of application, the ENC IC will be able to harvest in parallel energy from dissimilar sources including (ambient) light, (micro) vibrations and (small) temperature differences. In addition, a study for the integration of triboelectric microgenerators will be conducted to ensure future exploitation of this promising energy harvesting method.
Specific research targets include:
- Design of high-efficiency energy conversion microelectronic circuitry (including active rectifiers and DC/ DC converters) with ultra-low-power parasitic consumption.
- Design of low-complexity energy estimation algorithms (to be executed in real-time in the node).
- Definition of the power management characteristics which are necessary for fine-grain control and adaptation of the system’s consumption, in order to achieve energy survivability with optimal performance.
- Estimation of the actual efficiency of commercial and experimental energy harvesters, as well as field measurements of the energy signals, in order to provide a database for harvester dimensioning per application/installation environment.