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Printed Electronics World
Posted on May 19, 2010 by  & 

Energy Harvesting & Storage and Wireless Sensor Networks, RTLS Preview

Only the IDTechEx "Energy Harvesting and Storage" events are paired with "Wireless Sensor Networks & RTLS", covering the systems most in need of energy harvesting. Uniquely, these comprehensive events take place in three continents every year. For example, at the next such twin event, in Munich, Germany, May 26-27 the lineup of best in class organisations in the two day conference will cover wireless sensors and their power supply in aircraft, buildings, railway rolling stock, road transport, production machinery and healthcare. New ways of harvesting the wind for small devices without a rotor, and by using footfall on stairs, heat difference and more will be described.


Healthy disagreements will be aired where some advocate many forms of energy harvesting and no battery and others present new lithium, silicon air and other batteries, sometimes including circuitry, for use in these applications. New printed electronics and electrics is a part of this.


MicroElectroMechanical Systems MEMS is a focus, including microbatteries, microsensors and microharvesting. On the sensor side, a "mildew watchdog" and a ZigBee wireless temperature sensor energised by a thermo generator are among the many advances being presented. Reducing the power needed is a common theme across all of this of course and the leaders Philips of the Netherlands, Fraunhofer IIS of Germany, DecaWave of Ireland and Texas instruments, GE, Microchip and Cymbet of the USA have much to announce here.


Although progress in all the leading countries of Europe is covered, complementary work from East Asia and the USA is presented by many experts flying in from those regions as well. There are visits to local centres of excellence in the subject and optional Masterclasses before and after the event.

Rapid growth

With about 50% growth on last year's pioneering event in the UK, there will be about 300 delegates attending. The exhibition is much larger this year, including exciting news from the following analysts, R&D organisations and manufacturers.

Analysis and collaboration

IDTechEx provides independent analysis on the development and application of energy harvesting, printed electronics, RFID, electric vehicles and allied technologies. Energy Harvesting Journal provides a free daily update of the latest industry developments. Energy Harvesting Network brings together the energy harvesting community in Europe to explore applications and new directions for research. The UK Sensors and Instrumentation Knowledge Transfer Network connects industry and the research community to exchange knowledge and exploit sensing technologies. EnOcean GmbH promotes EnOcean Alliance - leading companies from the world's building sector creating innovative wireless solutions for sustainable building.

Research and development

Holst Centre in the Netherlands is an independent centre for open innovation that develops generic technologies and technology platforms for wireless autonomous transducer solutions and systems-in-foil. The expertise of Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS includes medical sensor solutions and communications technology in transport and logistics whereas Fraunhofer IKTS is focussed on the development and application of modern high performance ceramic materials, such as piezoelectric ceramic. Tadiran Batteries is a leader in the development and manufacture of lithium batteries for industrial use. Its Lithium Thionyl Chloride (LTC) technology is well established for more than 25 years. Tadiran LTC-Batteries are suitable where a 3.6 Volt high energy primary battery is required for up to ten years and more, of stand alone operation. It uses a Hybrid Layer Capacitor (HLC) that can provide high current pulses with a high energy primary cell, plays a significant role especially where GSM modules require a long-term stand-alone power source. The Advanced Circuits and Sensors Branch at SSC-SD SPAWAR creates integrated circuit and sensor technologies of interest to the US Department of Defense that are out of the commercial mainstream. Examples are radiation-hard processes based on silicon-on-insulator (SOI), silicon-on-sapphire (SOS) and including MEMS-based sensing devices.

New products

Arveni of France shows record breaking piezoelectric harvesting of vibration for industry and aeronautics,push buttons and water metering. Cymbet demonstrates thin-film energy storage devices for integrated circuits and new products for process control, medical, sensor, RFID, communications, consumer and portable electronic devices. DecaWave has identified the rich potential of ultra wideband (UWB) technology, with focus on real time location systems (RTLS), and ultra-low power wireless transceivers to the new PHY IEEE802.15.4a standard. Identec Solutions of Austria is global leader in commercial active RFID, with award-winning intelligent long-range active RFID technology utilized by some of the world's largest companies to facilitate and better manage critical processes or to help track valuable assets in a completely reliable and secure manner. Infinite Power Solutions of the USA, Inc is the global leader in developing, marketing and manufacturing solid-state, rechargeable thin-film micro-energy storage devices. Micropelt in Germany markets the world's highest power density thermoelectric elements for clean-tech energy harvesting, and thermal sensing, cycling and cooling. Its core technology is based on a combination of thermoelectric thin film deposition and MEMS micro-structuring technologies. Texas Instruments is a global semiconductor company with design, sales and manufacturing operations in more than 30 countries. CST is one of the two largest suppliers of electromagnetic simulation software. CeramTec AG is an international leading company in advanced ceramics including smart materials for energy-harvesting.
EnOcean is the originator of patented self-powered wireless technology. Headquartered near Munich it manufactures maintenance-free wireless sensor solutions for use in buildings and industrial installations. EnOcean products employ miniaturized energy converters, ultra-low-power electronic circuitry and reliable wireless and they are used in over 100,000 buildings. Intesens designs autonomous wireless sensor networks for health monitoring applications. MicroStrain has innovative wireless, micro-miniature displacement, orientation and strain sensor networks for the next generation of smart machines and structures with advanced, time-synchronized micro-power WS electronics employing miniaturized vibration, strain, and solar energy harvesters. Microchip's 8- and 16-bit PIC® microcontrollers, energy measurement ICs, analog components and serial EEPROMs directly drive LED and LCD displays, add wireless communication for automated meter reading and implement anti-tampering techniques. They enjoy low power design with nanoWatt technology and integrate real time clock for advanced billing schemes. Microdul AG in Switzerland is also a specialist for high quality microelectronics and ultra low-power electronic circuits.
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