Energy Harvesting Development Kit by Microchip Technology

The XLP 16-bit Energy Harvesting Development Kit is a  development platform for realizing energy harvesting applications powered by Microchip nanoWatt XLP PIC MCUs which are suited for  low power applications with sleep currents down to 20nA, active mode currents down to 50uA/MHz, code execution efficiency, and multiple wake-up sources. The power for the kit is supplied by Cymbet’s EVAL-08 Solar Energy Harvester which features a solar panel suitable for use with indoor or outdoor light.

Solar Energy Harvesting Development Kit Featuring PIC® MCUs with eXtreme Low Power (XLP)
XLP 16-Bit Energy Harvesting Development Kit (Left: Debugger, Center: Main Board: Right: Solar Energy Harvesting Board)

The XLP kit enables rapid prototyping of low power applications such as RF sensors, temperature/environmental sensors, utility meters, remote controls, security sensors and more. For software development and programming, the kit includes the PICkit 3 programmer/debugger for use with the Microchip’s free MPLAB™ Integrated Development Environment. Microchip also provides XLP 16-bit Energy Harvesting RF Demo Code  in C language  (The file is a Windows Executable, but it’s just an executable compressed file so it can also be browsed in Linux).

The development board portion of the kit features the following:

  • PIC24F16KA102 XLP MCU
  • On-board temperature sensors
  • Data EEPROM
  • Potentiometer
  • Watch crystal
  • LEDs
  • Expansion connector for PICtail™ modules: RF, SD/MMC Cards, Speech Playback, etc…

Power conditions and capacity are monitored by the PIC24F using Energy Aware software algorithms developed by Microchip and Cymbet. The monitored information can be reported to the PC user interface via a USB connection. This allows for experimentation and balancing of energy collection vs. energy use, maximizing the benefits of the harvested energy.

Features of the development kit:

  • Solar Energy Harvester with EnerChip storage devices providing backup power
  • Flexible development platform with temperature sensors, EEPROM, potentiometer, capacitive sensors, buttons, LEDs, USB, and low power oscillator.
  • Expansion connector for development with PICtails such as RF
  • Prototyping area for adding additional sensors and circuits
  • PICkit 3 Programmer/Debugger for application software development
  • PIC24F eXtreme Low Power MCU with 20nA sleep currents

The complete devkit includes the following items:

  • Cymbet Eval-08 Solar Energy Harvesting Board and Cable
  • XLP 16-bit Development Board
  • PIC24F16KA102 Microcontroller
  • PICkit 3 Programmer/Debugger
  • USB Cables
  • XLP 16-bit Energy Harvesting Development Kit user guide and  Quick Start Guide

The development kit (Part Number DV164133) can be purchased directly from microchip for 195 USD.

Finally, you may want to watch a short demo of the devkit by Microchip’s XLP Product Marketing Manager (Jason Tollefson).

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