Energy harvesting device sales set to explode says Navigant Research
October 10, 2013 - In the near future, energy harvesting (EH) technology will power an increasing number of consumer and industrial products that are untethered or need to become disconnected from electrical outlets; according says a new report from Navigant Research, sales of EH devices will grow from less than 10 million units in 2013 to 18.7 million units by 2020.
By Anthony Capkun
Converting ambient energy to useable electrical energy, energy harvesting systems offer an inexpensive and compact way to power portable electrical devices that, in many cases, rely heavily on batteries, explains Navigant.
“Consumers and industries alike consider the environmental and economic costs of changing and maintaining batteries to be excessive,” said Eric Woods, research director with Navigant. “It is just a matter of time before they are no longer willing, economically or otherwise, to change and maintain batteries to the extent that they have traditionally done, and move toward increasingly available energy harvesting technology.”
The energy sources available for EH include electromagnetic radiation, thermal energy and mechanical energy. The technologies used for the transduction of these energy sources into useable electrical energy include photovoltaic (PV), thermoelectric, piezoelectric and electromagnetic.
Improvements in low-power technology—such as very large-scale integration, microelectromechanical systems and wireless communications—have made it possible for these technologies to be put to use in commercial products in the consumer and industrial sectors, adds Navigant.