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Smart Sensor Systems: Emerging Technologies and Applications by Gerard Meijer, Michiel Pertijs, Kofi Makinwa

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Chapter 9Micropower Generation: Principles and Applications

Ruud Vullers, Ziyang Wang, Michael Renaud, Hubregt Visser, Jos Oudenhoven and Valer Pop

imec/Holst Centre, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

9.1 Introduction

The continuously decreasing power consumption of silicon-based electronics has enabled a broad range of battery-powered handheld, wearable and even implantable devices. Spanning six orders of magnitude, the typical power consumptions of a variety of electronic devices are listed in Table 9.1, together with their corresponding energy autonomy.

Table 9.1 Power consumption and energy autonomy of battery-operated electronic devices

Device Type Power Consumption Energy Autonomy
Smartphone 1 W 8 hours
MP3 player 50 mW 15 hours
Hearing Aid 1 mW 5 days
Wireless Sensor Node* c09-math-0001 Lifetime
Cardiac Pacemaker c09-math-0002 7 years
Quartz watch c09-math-0003 5 years

* when powered by energy harvester and energy storage device.Reproduced by permission of Elsevier

All these devices need a compact, low-cost and lightweight energy source, which enables the desired portability and energy autonomy. Nowadays, batteries represent the dominant energy source for the devices listed in Table 9.1 and alike. ...

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