Tassilo Gernandt Tassilo has been a circuit designer for more than 15 years and helps customers to design, layout, and debug circuits, including laboratory work and simulations. He is a field application engineer with Vishay and serves customers abroad. His background is RF and low power IoT devices. Before he joined Vishay two and a half years ago, he worked at an institute as project manager and managing engineer. In the RF Circuits and Systems division, he achieved demonstrable prototypes for startups in Europe and the United States. His main accomplishments were the development of a miniature telemetry sphere for sending live wireless sensor data from within fluids over distances of 2 meters to 10 meters, and wireless transceiver devices targeting new services and use cases up to 100 meters.

ENERGY HARVESTING: Eliminating Battery Replacements for IoT Nodes

In partnership with Vishay Intertechnology

Vishay, together with e-peas, is setting new standards in the IoT world. This is achieved by photovoltaic energy harvesting, among other factors, in conjunction with a hybrid supercapacitor. Energy harvesting is the retrieval of small amounts of energy from ambient energy sources, such as light, heat, vibration, or e-fields. The main energy-related challenges include effective harvesting, efficient transformation to a usable voltage level, and lossless storage.

Storage capacitors with minimum leakage current are key components here, and ENYCAP™ capacitor technology provides very good properties to satisfy this requirement. ENYCAP devices have small sizes, high energy density, low leakage current, and more than 90% of the rated capacitance, even after 35 000 deep discharge cycles. Such ambient energy sources — combined with the right conversion and charging technology — make sensors completely self-sustaining, allowing them to be used for considerably longer than the targeted 10 years for IoT applications. The goal of >10 years of usability can only be achieved if all components used are optimized in a nano-ampere design and operate efficiently with minimum losses.

The Vishay Harvester includes three tiny 7.5mm² silicon photocells with >13% efficiency, an ultra low power chip from a cooperation partner — which replaces discretely designed circuit parts like isolated back to back MOSFET switches for ultra low reverse current — and an optimized forward voltage diode that prevents the attached ENYCAP capacitor from discharging during dark periods. It also includes small, low core loss composite inductors for voltage conversion. The ultra low power chip even has an MPPT to maximize converted energy.

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