The global energy harvesting market size is poised to reach a significant value by 2025. The market is projected to gain momentum over the coming years as a result of rising need to reduce carbon footprints especially in the manufacturing sector. Growing inclination towards use of green and renewable energy systems is anticipated to drive the market. These systems can be used for running low power rating devices in various end-use markets including consumer electronics, building and home automation, automotive, and aerospace.
Stringent government regulations to reduce carbon footprints and on-going efforts to increase the usage of green energy are estimated to spur the growth of the market during the forecast period. Additionally, increased spending on home automation products and wearable devices is expected to stoke the growth of the market in the near future. For instance, in August 2017, the University of California developed a wearable device that harvests energy from human sweat. The device uses a biofuel cell, which reacts with lactic acid present in human sweat. On similar lines, in September 2017, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) developed a wearable device that can be installed on clothes. This device harvests energy from temperature difference between hot and cold sides of clothes.
Over the past few years, environmental agencies of Europe and North America have been encouraging public and private enterprises to leverage sustainable sources of energy to meet their requirements.
The commercial and residential sectors are the most promising application segments in the energy harvesting market. Increasing investments in the smart home sector and advancements in home automation are likely to promote the use of energy harvesting systems. For instance, in February 2017, Alta Devices developed a thin, lightweight, and flexible wearable solar cell. This solar cell harvests electrical energy from both indoor and outdoor light sources. Likewise, the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology developed a hybrid nanogenerator that can generate wind as well as solar power. This device is suitable for supplying power to smart cities as well as IoT devices.
Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) is an emerging technology in the healthcare sector. This technology harvests energy generated by repeated contact between two materials. Mr. Zhong Lin Wang, a material scientist and physicist, designed a small device for energy harvesting that can power medical devices, such as heart monitor. This technology is projected to open new avenues for market participants in the healthcare sector.
Increased spending on development of road and rail infrastructure is poised to provide growth opportunities to the market. Shifting consumer preference towards energy efficient products is anticipated to bode well for the market.
Asia Pacific is estimated to remain a lucrative destinations for market players on account of rising spending on energy conservation in countries such as Japan, China, and India. Furthermore, booming automotive, consumer goods, and construction sectors in these countries is likely to escalate the growth of the market in the near future.
Companies are taking collaborative measures to develop effective energy harvesting systems. For instance, in December 2016, Ilika announced a collaborative project with Sharp Laboratories and McLaren Applied Technologies. The objective of the project was to develop autonomous energy harvesting devices that can be used for a variety of applications in the automotive and healthcare sectors. Similarly, Fulham and EnOcean collaborated to launch Bluetooth mesh-enabled, wireless LED products. Fulham added self-powered wireless Easyfut switches from EnOcean to its new Bluetooth mesh lighting control ecosystem. This has enabled development of ready-to-use, maintenance free LED lighting application as Easyfit switches use the principle of energy harvesting.
Fujitsu Electronics Europe partnered with E-peas to expand its ultra-low-power linecard portfolio. Belgium’s E-peas developed solutions that support a wide range of power sources such as photovoltaic, vibration, thermal, or RF. Fujitsu’s AEM10940, AEM10941, and AEM30940 have a cold start capability at 380 mV input voltage and 11 μW of input power. In addition, the product is fitted with an ultra-low-power boost converter having an efficiency of up to 94.0% along with voltage references, circuitry, and LDO regulators.
Research Support Specialist, USA