Harvesting Radiative Energy for a High-Efficiency Portable Battery Charger/Storage Unit
The Army"s Land Warrior concept requires a high efficient, portable, day-night continuously functioning battery charger/storage unit (BCSU) that will lessen the Soldier"s load. However, existing energy harvesting technology such as the photovoltaic cell is limited by operational conditions. To meet the needs, we will leverage our newly discovered breakthrough in energy harvesting and deliver a microscale Multiple-Energy Harvester (MEH) that is capable of simultaneously scavenging multiple environmental radiative energy sources, such as thermal and optical radiation, vibrations etc., and converting them into usable direct current electrical energy. Additional major advantages of the MEH technology over existing radiative energy harvesting methodologies include rugged architecture for long-lasting, continuous energy scavenging at various environments for day and night, higher energy conversion, compatible to prevalent MEMS micro-fabrication process for packaging and integration with existing energy storage systems. In Phase I, we will focus on analysis, design and testing components of the micro-MEH device for performance improvement and experimental validation of harvesting energies from a broad spectrum of thermal and photon resources in laboratory. We will evaluate the integration of micro-MEH for its capability and feasibility as a Soldier"s BCSU. A multidisciplinary team with expertise in all aspects of the proposed study has been assembled.
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