Energy Harvesting Experiments and Examples

I created a device that can harvest thermal energy and convert it to electricity to spin a motor.
Oct 12, 2023 — 2 mins read — Electronics

Energy Harvesting Experiments and Examples

During a recent stay at my friend's house, I had the chance to explore and learn more about their smart home system.

The system was based on OpenHUB and something that caught my attention was their switches for which they said that they are not connected with wires, but instead they are wireless, and on top of that, they do not use any batteries whatsoever.

This got me curious as I wasn't aware of the technology behind them so I was introduced to the topic of Energy Harvesting.

Wikipedia defines Energy Harvesting as "the process by which energy is derived from external sources" usually when operating some other machine, engine, or process where otherwise this energy would have been lost.

Some of the use cases are in scenarios for harvesting energy from the sun, vibrations, movement, thermal gradients, and even radio frequency waves so we can then store that energy and power small devices to use as triggers or independent sensors.

In the video below, I explore the different options and I also create two demos where in the first one I light up an LED with a piezo disk, and on the second one, we spin a motor by using the energy from a lighter.

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This video is a part of a 26 video series on Home Automation DIY Devices as part of the Alphabet Superset challenge! You can check the full playlist here.

prototype energy experiment
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