Electronic Design

Solar Energy Harvesting Module Drops Into Portable Applications

The EnerChip EH CBC5300 energy harvesting module from Cymbet Corp. can be paired with small photovoltaic cells to power devices using ambient solar energy harvesting. It provides energy conversion, energy storage, and power management in a single package using new high-efficiency energy-conversion techniques and energy-aware functions. According to Cymbet, designers can use the EnerChip EH CBC5300 to rapidly create zero-power devices such as smart building wireless sensors, active RFID tags, patient status devices, and equipment data loggers.

The module comes in a standard 24-pin dual-inline package (DIP) and uses two EnerChip CBC050 solid-state energy chips to provide 100 µAh. Designed as a drop-in power solution, it offers more than 5000 recharge cycles, low self-discharge, fast charging times, and stable output voltage. It also can be connected to many different microcontrollers and low-power wireless devices.

To evaluate the module, Cymbet offers the CBC-EVAL-08 solar energy harvesting evaluation kit, which includes a solar panel board with a socketed EnerChip EH module. The EVAL-08 board has a five-pin connector with cable for connection to a target device to be powered. There also is a connector for a customer-supplied solar panel. Cymbet says the EVAL-08 works well in low-light conditions and is an ideal platform for prototyping both indoor and outdoor solar energy harvesting applications.

The EnerChip EH module and CBC-EVAL-08 Eval kits are available now from several suppliers. They can be purchased as part of the Texas Instruments eZ430-RF2500-SEH solar energy harvesting wireless demo kit at the TI e-store. They are also available from the Cymbet Distribution partners listed on the Cymbet Web site. Additionally, Cymbet has provided additional information for designers in a free white paper titled “Zero Power Wireless Sensors,” available at www.cymbet.com/content/whitepaper.asp.

Cymbet Corp.


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