SBIR Phase II: Micro-Solar Powered Battery Charger Circuit
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
681 N Plano Rd, Suite 121, Richardson, TX, 75081-2960
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will address the efficiency issues with existing solar harvesting technology and the excessive power consumed by the power management circuitry. The proposed technology addresses the solar performance issues by including a low-power Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) algorithm to maximize solar collection efficiency under variable lighting conditions. The patented technology reduces the power consumed in the charging electronics by 60x over existing products. The solar power solutions developed will minimize the charging time while meeting portable form-factor requirements in both indoor and outdoor lighting conditions. The first development phase will define specifications and develop system level implementations for portable charging and standalone off-grid applications. In the second phase, technologies used in the prototype systems will be integrated into a single device to further reduce overall size and system costs. The final product of this Phase II effort will be single-chip integrated power management devices for portable charging applications and standalone autonomous off-grid systems. These devices will deliver class-leading solar conversion efficiency both indoors and outdoors, and have revolutionary power dissipation levels that will enable new applications and markets that were not possible with products on the market today. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to improve the environment, enable new markets, and provide opportunities, jobs, and tax revenue. In the past, solar energy harvesting was not taken seriously due to lack of flexibility and portability. Early solar panels and harvesting electronics were too inefficient and expensive to be useable, and remained a niche product. With advances in harvesting and charging technologies, solar power can be used effectively in many consumer standalone and portable applications. The proliferation of these efficient, cost-effective solar and low-power solutions can reduce a system?s carbon footprint. Utilizing this proposal?s technology and working closely with solar panel manufacturers, solar charging and energy harvesting becomes a viable alternative to replaceable batteries and grid-power. North American consumers use approximately 200,000 tons of cell batteries each year, 95% of which end up as waste. High-efficiency solar rechargeable systems can reduce the amount of toxic battery waste that ends up in neighborhood landfills. In addition to the positive environmental impact, the technology enables new markets and growth in existing markets which allows firms to grow and provide opportunities, jobs and more than an estimated $1.5 million in federal income tax revenue over the next 5 years.
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