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Energy Harvesting Circuits


Energy Harvesting:   #'s - L        M - Z
 

Last Updated: November 21, 2017 05:50 AM

Circuits Designed by Dave Johnson, P.E. :
Mason_Jar_Solar_Light  -  I have modified several commercial solar garden lights over the years.  I switch out the LED, solar panel, battery pack and control circuit.  The result is a much better overall light.  One of my disappointments in using store-bought garden light assemblies is their construction.  They are built so cheaply that over time, water and insects get inside, killing the light operation. . . . Hobby Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September 21, 2017

Modified 4 D Cell LED Lantern  -  While shopping at a sporting goods store one day, I spotted a compact LED lantern.  It looked like the kind of lantern I could modify. The lantern LEDs were grouped into three sections of 7 LEDs each, oriented into 120 degree angles.  The LEDs were standard T 1-3/4 epoxy types.  The lantern had a three mode switch which selected between off, full power and half power modes.  At the half power mode, only half of the 21 LEDs were illuminated.  At full power all LEDs were illuminated. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September 21, 2017

Modified Colman Lantern3  -  While shopping at a sporting goods store one day, I spotted a compact LED lantern.  It looked like the kind of lantern I could modify. The lantern LEDs were grouped into three sections of 7 LEDs each, oriented into 120 degree angles.  The LEDs were standard T 1-3/4 epoxy types.  The lantern had a three mode switch which selected between off, full power and half power modes.  At the half power mode, only half of the 21 LEDs were illuminated.  At full power all LEDs were illuminated. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September 21, 2017

Path_Light_Using_COB_LED_1w_Solar  -  Chip on board (COB) LEDs are all the rage.  These devices assemble multiple tiny LED chips onto a metal backed circuit board, then cover the assembly with a plastic cover.  The metal back allows the assembly to be mounted to heat sink to keep the device cool.  The multiple LED chips can be wired into any number of series/parallel configurations.  Some are wired for 12v operation while other COB LEDs in flashlights are all wired in parallel, with an operating voltage of about 3 volts. . . . Hobby Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-May 23, 2017

Quartz_Clock_Solar_Powered  -  Connect a solar panel to a quality AA size 1One of my homes in Colorado had a large battery powered quartz clock above the fireplace.  It was powered by an AA size 1.5v alkaline cell.  The battery would run the clock for about a year or so, then I would have to break out a tall step ladder and replace the battery for another year or so of operation. That gave me a great 10:1 energy margin. . . . Hobby Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September 21, 2017

Solar 1w Cob LED Light  -  Chip on board (COB) LEDs are all the rage.  These devices assemble multiple tiny LED chips onto a metal backed circuit board, then cover the assembly with a plastic cover.  The metal back allows the assembly to be mounted to heat sink to keep the device cool.  The multiple LED chips can be wired into any number of series/parallel configurations.  Some are wired for 12v operation while other COB LEDs in flashlights are all wired in parallel, with an operating voltage of about 3 volts. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-May 23, 2017

Solar Fireflies In Jar Light  -  When I was a kid, growing up in Illinois, I remember catching fireflies and putting them into a jar.  I loved watching them flashing away at night.  Later, I would let them out to live another day. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September 21, 2017

Solar Insolution Meter  -  You donít need a fancy and expensive meter to measure the sunís intensity.  With some inexpensive parts you can build your own meter.  I used a 1ma meter movement and a single solar cell I got on eBay with an area of about one square inch.  I calibrated the meter on a very clear bright summer day when the sun was directly overhead. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-July 14, 2017

Solar Powered Lighthouse  -  While at a discount store one day, I spotted an interesting tall lighthouse.  It had a tiny solar panel and an equally tiny LED light.  The LED was pointing downward, at the center of a rotating light reflector.  I thought it might be turned into an interesting addition to my wifeís garden. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September 21, 2017

Solar Powered Mason Jar Light  -  I have modified several commercial solar garden lights over the years.  I switch out the LED, solar panel, battery pack and control circuit.  The result is a much better overall light.  One of my disappointments in using store-bought garden light assemblies is their construction.  They are built so cheaply that over time, water and insects get inside, killing the light operation. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September 21, 2017

Solar Powered Quartz Clock  -  Connect a solar panel to a quality AA size 1One of my homes in Colorado had a large battery powered quartz clock above the fireplace.  It was powered by an AA size 1.5v alkaline cell.  The battery would run the clock for about a year or so, then I would have to break out a tall step ladder and replace the battery for another year or so of operation. That gave me a great 10:1 energy margin. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September 21, 2017

Solar-Powered_LED_Light_for_Tool_Shed  -  I have a lean-to 8ft by 12ft shed next to my house.  It is full of lawn chemicals and garden supplies.  There were times when I needed to get something from inside the shed during the dead of night.  Early on I had to use a flashlight.  But later, I installed a series of five 12v LED light strips on the ceiling.  Each strip contained 15 3v white LEDs.  The strip had 5 strings of three LEDs, wired in series, with a 150 ohm current limiting resistor. . . . Hobby Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-July 14, 2017

Tool Shed LED Light  -  I have a lean-to 8ft by 12ft shed next to my house.  It is full of lawn chemicals and garden supplies.  There were times when I needed to get something from inside the shed during the dead of night.  Early on I had to use a flashlight.  But later, I installed a series of five 12v LED light strips on the ceiling.  Each strip contained 15 3v white LEDs.  The strip had 5 strings of three LEDs, wired in series, with a 150 ohm current limiting resistor. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-July 14, 2017

Well Pump Flasher & Beeper  -  Several years ago I installed a box on my water well pump head.  At the well head, the solar powered box flashed a very bright LED light and chirped a very load siren, whenever the pump motor was in operation.  After many years of service, the box finally became corroded from rain water and died.  So, I thought it was time to redesign the circuit and build up a replacement. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-June 29, 2017

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Links to electronic circuits, electronic schematics, designs for engineers, hobbyists, students & inventors:

Mason_Jar_Solar_Light  -  I have modified several commercial solar garden lights over the years.  I switch out the LED, solar panel, battery pack and control circuit.  The result is a much better overall light.  One of my disappointments in using store-bought garden light assemblies is their construction.  They are built so cheaply that over time, water and insects get inside, killing the light operation. . . . Hobby Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September 21, 2017

Modified 4 D Cell LED Lantern  -  While shopping at a sporting goods store one day, I spotted a compact LED lantern.  It looked like the kind of lantern I could modify. The lantern LEDs were grouped into three sections of 7 LEDs each, oriented into 120 degree angles.  The LEDs were standard T 1-3/4 epoxy types.  The lantern had a three mode switch which selected between off, full power and half power modes.  At the half power mode, only half of the 21 LEDs were illuminated.  At full power all LEDs were illuminated. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September 21, 2017

Modified Colman Lantern3  -  While shopping at a sporting goods store one day, I spotted a compact LED lantern.  It looked like the kind of lantern I could modify. The lantern LEDs were grouped into three sections of 7 LEDs each, oriented into 120 degree angles.  The LEDs were standard T 1-3/4 epoxy types.  The lantern had a three mode switch which selected between off, full power and half power modes.  At the half power mode, only half of the 21 LEDs were illuminated.  At full power all LEDs were illuminated. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September 21, 2017
Path_Light_Using_COB_LED_1w_Solar  -  Chip on board (COB) LEDs are all the rage.  These devices assemble multiple tiny LED chips onto a metal backed circuit board, then cover the assembly with a plastic cover.  The metal back allows the assembly to be mounted to heat sink to keep the device cool.  The multiple LED chips can be wired into any number of series/parallel configurations.  Some are wired for 12v operation while other COB LEDs in flashlights are all wired in parallel, with an operating voltage of about 3 volts. . . . Hobby Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-May 23, 2017

Peak Power Tracking Buck Solar Charger Maximizes Efficiency  -  Solar panels are gaining acceptance as a practical means of electricity generation in remote locations, but despite improvements in the technology, solar panels remain expensive.  Much of the expense is the panel itself, where the size, and thus cost, of the panel rises with required power output.  Maximizing panel performance__ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Jun 15th 2010

Photovoltaic Charger with Extremely Low Leakage When Not Charging  -  A photovoltaic (PV) application for the LTC4070 is illustrated in this example.  In this application, transistor Q1 has been added to further reduce the already low quiescent current of the LTC4070 to achieve extremely low battery discharge when the PV cells are not charging the battery.  In long battery life applications, Q1__ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Jun 15th 2010

Piezoelectric 3.3V Power Supply with LDO Post Regulator for Reduced Output Ripple  -  The LTC3588-1 integrates a low-loss full-wave bridge rectifier with a high efficiency buck converter to form a complete energy harvesting solution optimized for high output impedance energy sources such as piezoelectric transducers.  __ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Mar 23, 2010

Piezoelectric Energy Harvester & 1.2V Secondary Rail  -  The LTC3388-1/LTC3388-3 are high efficiency step-down DC/DC converters with internal high side and synchronous power switches that draw only 720nA typical DC supply current at no load while maintaining output voltage regulation.  The EN pin can be used to activate the LTC3388-1/LTC3388-3.  For instance, in this circuit the __ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Jul 23, 2010

Piezoelectric Energy Harvester with Battery Backup  -  The LTC3388-1/LTC3388-3 are high efficiency step-down DC/DC converters with internal high side and synchronous power switches that draw only 720nA typical DC supply current at no load while maintaining output voltage regulation.  The EN pin can be used to activate the LTC3388-1/LTC3388-3.  For instance, in this circuit the__ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Jul 23, 2010

Quartz_Clock_Solar_Powered  -  Connect a solar panel to a quality AA size 1One of my homes in Colorado had a large battery powered quartz clock above the fireplace.  It was powered by an AA size 1.5v alkaline cell.  The battery would run the clock for about a year or so, then I would have to break out a tall step ladder and replace the battery for another year or so of operation. That gave me a great 10:1 energy margin. . . . Hobby Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September 21, 2017

Simple Circuit Photovoltaic Charger  -  The LTC4071 allows simple charging of Li-ion/Polymer batteries from very low current, intermittent or continuous charging sources.  A near-zero current low battery latching disconnect function protects even the lowest capacity batteries from deep discharge and potentially irreparable damage.  The 550nA to 50mA operating current__ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Oct 26th 2010

Single-Cell Photovoltaic NiMH Trickle Charger  -  The LTC3105 is a high efficiency step-up DC/DC converter that can operate from input voltages as low as 200mV.  A 250mV start-up capability and integrated maximum power point controller (MPPC) enable operation directly from low voltage, high impedance alternative power sources such as photovoltaic cells, TEGs (thermoelectric__ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Oct 26th 2010

Small Solution Size 1.8V Low Voltage Input Piezoelectric Power Supply  -  The LTC3588-1 integrates a low-loss full-wave bridge rectifier with a high efficiency buck converter to form a complete energy harvesting solution optimized for high output impedance energy sources such as piezoelectric transducers.  __ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Mar 23, 2010

Smoothing Capacitors  -  Find out more about the uses of smoothing capacitors in renewable energy circuits.   __ Designed by REUK-Renewable Energy UK website

Solar & Piezo Energy Harvester & Battery Life Extender  -  The LTC3330 integrates a high voltage energy harvesting power supply plus a DC/DC converter powered by a primary cell battery to create a single output supply for alternative energy applications.  The energy harvesting power supply, consisting of an integrated full-wave bridge rectifier and a high voltage buck converter, harvests__ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Sep 19th 2013

Solar 1w Cob LED Light  -  Chip on board (COB) LEDs are all the rage.  These devices assemble multiple tiny LED chips onto a metal backed circuit board, then cover the assembly with a plastic cover.  The metal back allows the assembly to be mounted to heat sink to keep the device cool.  The multiple LED chips can be wired into any number of series/parallel configurations.  Some are wired for 12v operation while other COB LEDs in flashlights are all wired in parallel, with an operating voltage of about 3 volts. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-May 23, 2017

Solar Fireflies In Jar Light  -  When I was a kid, growing up in Illinois, I remember catching fireflies and putting them into a jar.  I loved watching them flashing away at night.  Later, I would let them out to live another day. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September 21, 2017

Solar Insolution Meter  -  You donít need a fancy and expensive meter to measure the sunís intensity.  With some inexpensive parts you can build your own meter.  I used a 1ma meter movement and a single solar cell I got on eBay with an area of about one square inch.  I calibrated the meter on a very clear bright summer day when the sun was directly overhead. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-July 14, 2017

Solar Panel Charging 12V Battery through Ideal Diode to Prevent Back Feeding  -  in solar power systems, Schottky diodes are used to prevent discharge of the battery during hours of darkness.  Unfortunately, the voltage drop and power dissipation of a Schottky diode can be quite large when used with high wattage solar panels, thus reducing the amount of power available to charge the battery.  This circuit__ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Jun 15th 2010

Solar Panel Input 6V to 36VIN to 14.4V at 4.5A Buck Boost Converter 4-Cell LiFePO4 Battery Charger  -  The LTC4000-1 is a high voltage, high performance controller that converts many externally compensated DC/DC power supplies into full-featured battery chargers with maximum power point control.  In contrast to the LTC4000, the LTC4000-1 has an input voltage regulation loop instead of the input current regulation loop.  Features__ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Jun 25th 2013

Solar Powered Converter Extends Battery Life in Low Power 3V Primary Battery Applications  -  The LTC3129 is a high efficiency, 200mA buck-boost DC/DC converter with a wide ViN and VOUT range.  It includes an accurate RUN pin threshold to allow predictable regulator turn-on and a maximum power point control (MPPC) capability that ensures maximum power extraction from non-ideal power sources such as photovoltaic panels.  __ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Feb 15th 2013

Solar Powered Converter with MPPC Charges Storage Capacitor  -  The LTC3129 is a high efficiency, 200mA buck-boost DC/DC converter with a wide ViN and VOUT range.  It includes an accurate RUN pin threshold to allow predictable regulator turn-on and a maximum power point control (MPPC) capability that ensures maximum power extraction from non-ideal power sources such as photovoltaic panels.  __ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Feb 15th 2013

Solar Powered LED Driver  -  This figure shows an application for an LED driver supplied with a solar cell for an emergency LED torch.  When the torch is off, the LTC3536 is in shutdown.  The quiescent current of less than 1μA minimizes supercapacitor drain when the ambient light is no longer available.  When the LED torch is switched on, the LTC3536 is turned__ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Oct 3, 2012

Solar Powered Lighthouse  -  While at a discount store one day, I spotted an interesting tall lighthouse.  It had a tiny solar panel and an equally tiny LED light.  The LED was pointing downward, at the center of a rotating light reflector.  I thought it might be turned into an interesting addition to my wifeís garden. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September 21, 2017

Solar Powered Mason Jar Light  -  I have modified several commercial solar garden lights over the years.  I switch out the LED, solar panel, battery pack and control circuit.  The result is a much better overall light.  One of my disappointments in using store-bought garden light assemblies is their construction.  They are built so cheaply that over time, water and insects get inside, killing the light operation. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September 21, 2017

Solar Powered Quartz Clock  -  Connect a solar panel to a quality AA size 1One of my homes in Colorado had a large battery powered quartz clock above the fireplace.  It was powered by an AA size 1.5v alkaline cell.  The battery would run the clock for about a year or so, then I would have to break out a tall step ladder and replace the battery for another year or so of operation. That gave me a great 10:1 energy margin. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September 21, 2017

Solar Powered Super Capacitor Charger with MPPT  -  The input of the LTC3625 can also be driven by many widely available solar cells.  In this circuit, MPPT (maximum power point tracking) is implemented by modulating the charge current based on the input voltage of the LTC3625.  The LTC3625/LTC3625-1 are programmable supercapacitor chargers designed to charge two supercapacitors__ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Jul 23, 2010

Solar-Powered 2.2V Supply & 1.8V LDO with Li Battery Backup & Run Threshold Set to Battery Minimum Voltage  -  The LTC3104 is a high efficiency, monolithic synchronous step-down converter using a current mode architecture capable of supplying 300mA of output current.  The LTC3104 includes an integrated, adjustable 10mA LDO to power noise sensitive functions.  Additionally, the LTC3104 includes an accurate RUN comparator, thermal overload__ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Dec 5th 2011

Solar-Powered 2.2V Supply with Li Battery Backup & Run Threshold Set to Battery Minimum Voltage  -  The LTC3103 is a high efficiency, monolithic synchronous step-down converter using a current mode architecture capable of supplying 300mA of output current.  Additionally, the LTC3103 includes an accurate RUN comparator, thermal overload protection, a power good output and an integrated soft-start feature to guarantee that the__ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Dec 5th 2011

Solar-Powered_LED_Light_for_Tool_Shed  -  I have a lean-to 8ft by 12ft shed next to my house.  It is full of lawn chemicals and garden supplies.  There were times when I needed to get something from inside the shed during the dead of night.  Early on I had to use a flashlight.  But later, I installed a series of five 12v LED light strips on the ceiling.  Each strip contained 15 3v white LEDs.  The strip had 5 strings of three LEDs, wired in series, with a 150 ohm current limiting resistor. . . . Hobby Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-July 14, 2017

Thermoelectric Generator to 2.4V Super Capacitor Charger  -  The LTC3105 is a high efficiency step-up DC/DC converter that can operate from input voltages as low as 200mV.  A 250mV start-up capability and integrated maximum power point controller (MPPC) enable operation directly from low voltage, high impedance alternative power sources such as photovoltaic cells, TEGs (thermoelectric__ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Oct 26th 2010

Tool Shed LED Light  -  I have a lean-to 8ft by 12ft shed next to my house.  It is full of lawn chemicals and garden supplies.  There were times when I needed to get something from inside the shed during the dead of night.  Early on I had to use a flashlight.  But later, I installed a series of five 12v LED light strips on the ceiling.  Each strip contained 15 3v white LEDs.  The strip had 5 strings of three LEDs, wired in series, with a 150 ohm current limiting resistor. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-July 14, 2017

Unipolar Energy Harvester Charges Battery Backup  -  The LTC3109 is a highly integrated DC/DC converter ideal for harvesting surplus energy from extremely low input voltage sources such as TEGs (thermoelectric generators) and thermopiles.  Its unique, proprietary autopolarity topology allows it to operate from input voltages as low as 30mV, regardless of polarity.  In this circuit, __ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Jul 8th 2010

Well Pump Flasher & Beeper  -  Several years ago I installed a box on my water well pump head.  At the well head, the solar powered box flashed a very bright LED light and chirped a very load siren, whenever the pump motor was in operation.  After many years of service, the box finally became corroded from rain water and died.  So, I thought it was time to redesign the circuit and build up a replacement. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-June 29, 2017


Energy Harvesting Circuits:   #'s - L        M - Z


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