If you’re interesting in battery less ultra low power applications, Energy Micro, Linear Technology and Würth Elektronik have announced an energy harvesting development platform early last month. The “Energy Harvesting Solution To Go” Kit is composed of an Energy Micro Giant Gecko (Cortex M3) Starter Kit and an energy harvesting board that is capable of getting enough solar, thermal, piezoelectric or electromagnetic energy to power the MCU board.
The power connector shown above connects directly to the Giant Gecko Starter Kit board to provide power. Although there are 4 energy harvesters on the board, only one power source can be selected at a time via jumpers. Several power sources can be selected by using diodes. The board The energy harvesting board offers two integrated energy sources:
- A solar cell (32mm x 50mm)
- A thermo-generator (40mm x 40mm).
And 2 other external energy sources can be added to the board via connectors.
Würth Elektronik provides a user’s manual, schematics (PDF) and design Files (Gerber data and bill of material) for Linear Technology multi-source energy harvester board.
The Giant Gecko Starter Kit (EFM32GG-STK3700) used in this development platform comes with an ARM Cortex M3 @ 48MHz, (1024KB Flash + 128KB RAM on Chip), 32 MB NAND Flash, 1 USB port, 160-segment LCD display, 2 programmable buttons, a touch slider, an ambient light sensor and an inductive-capacitive metal sensor.
The energy harvesting board is said to be compatible with all other starter kits of the EFM32 family.
The video below shows an unboxing of the kit, how the MCU and energy harvesting boards are connected, and a demo of the included solar and thermal power sources.
The “Energy Harvesting Solution To Go” Kit is available for 199 Euros (inc. VAT and shipping to Germany) from Würth Elektronik website. For those who already have a EFM32 starter kit, the energy harvesting board does not appear to be sold separately.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.