APPLICATIONS & SOLUTIONS / Energy Harvesting Applications

Photovoltaic

The Photovoltaic Solution

When would a Photovoltaic solution be right for you?

Let’s assume that you work with battery powered IoT wireless devices that operate under light sources that may come from sun, light bulb, tube, etc. You need to replace the batteries of those devices, because they run out of energy. This generates operational costs.

But, most probably, there is enough of energy in the light surrounding your devices that you could use to power them.

Depending on the lighting conditions (low light indoor conditions to bright sunny outdoor conditions), traditional photovoltaic (PV) cells can generate from 10µW to 10mW per cm².

When properly selected (material and topology) and sized (illuminated area), a PV cell combined with e-peas’ state of the art energy harvesting PMICs will recharge the batteries of your IoT applications from ambient light.

Using e-peas’ photovoltaic energy harvesting, you will avoid typical operating costs associated with battery replacement.

What exactly does e-peas offer?

Best performing solutions that make your devices’ batteries live forever. Our innovative ICs autonomously and efficiently recharge your batteries in any light conditions: bright, changing, or even in very low ones with a PV cell generating as low as 3µW.

e-peas offers AEM [Ambient Energy Manager] reference:

  • The AEM10940 allows you harvesting energy from up to 2 cells in series solar panels producing from 11µW up to 32.5mW.
  • The AEM10941 allows you for harvesting energy from up to 7 cells in series solar panels producing from 3µW up to 625mW.

Why e-peas? How does e-peas differ from competitors?

Both references are based on e-peas unique AEM platform offering:

  • top energy conversion efficiency
  • the fastest supercapacitor charge
  • the lowest cold-start power
  • the smallest footprint and associated components BOM

In addition, you will get direct access to engineering support by both Hawyang and e-peas engineers.

Product Matrix 

The following product(s) is/are recommended for photovoltaic applications:

Part NumberVinCold-startPinPoutMPPTPackage
AEM1094150mV to 5V

380mV
3μW

1μW to 625mW

10mA@1.8V
80mA@2.2-4.2V

YesQFN28
5x5mm

AEM10941 for photovoltaic harvesting

E-peas’ photovoltaic energy harvesting IC solution – AEM10941 – is the next generation integrated energy management subsystem that extracts DC power from up to 7 cells solar panels to simultaneously store energy in a rechargeable element and supply the system with two independent regulated voltages. This allows product designers and engineers to extend battery lifetime and ultimately get rid of the primary energy storage element in a large range of wireless applications like industrial monitoring, home automation, wearables.

The AEM10941 harvests the available input current up to 125 mA. It integrates an ultra-low-power Boost converter to charge a storage element, such as a Li-Ion battery, a thin film battery or a super- or conventional capacitor. The Boost converter operates with input voltages in a range of 50 mV to 5V. With its unique cold-start circuit, it can start operating with empty storage elements at an input voltage as low as 380 mV and an input power of just 3 µW.

The low voltage supply typically drives a microcontroller at 1.8 V. The high voltage supply typically drives a radio transceiver at a configurable voltage. Both are driven by highly efficient LDO (Low Drop-Out) regulators for low noise and high stability.

Configuration pins determine various operating modes by setting predefined conditions for the energy storage element (overcharge or overdischarge), and by selecting the voltage of the high voltage supply. However, special modes can be obtained at the expense of a few configuration resistors.

The chip integrates all the active elements for powering a typical wireless sensor. With only seven external components, integration is maximum, footprint and BOM are minimum, optimizing the time-to-market and costs of WSN designs in all markets.

Five identical capacitors and two inductors are required, available respectively in the small 0402 and 0603 SMD formats.

Ultra-low-power start-up

  • Cold start from 380 mV input voltage and 3 µW input power (typical)

Ultra-low-power Boost regulator

  • Open circuit voltage sensing for MPPT every 5 s
  • Configurable MPPT with 2-pins programming
  • Selectable Voc ratios of 70, 75, 85, 90%
  • Input voltage operation range from 50 mV to 5V
  • MPPT voltage operation range from 50 mV to 5V

Integrated LDO regulator at low voltage

  • 1.8 V, high efficiency
  • Up to 10 mA load current
  • Power gated by external control

Integrated LDO regulator at high voltage

  • Configurable from 2.2 V to 4.2 V
  • Up to 80 mA load current with 300 mV drop-out
  • Power gated by external control

Flexible energy storage management

  • Programmable overcharge and overdischarge protection
  • For any type of rechargeable battery or (super)capacitor
  • Fast supercapacitor charging
  • Warns load when battery is getting empty
  • Warns when regulators are switched on

Smallest footprint, smallest BOM

  • Only seven passive external components

Optional primary battery

  • Automatically switches to the primary battery when secondary battery gets empty

Documentation

ItemVersionLast UpdateDownload
AEM10941 product brief PB_AEM10941_REV1.317/05/2018Download
AEM10941 datasheetDS_AEM10941_REV1.325/09/2018Download
AEM10941 user guide (for evaluation board)UG_AEM10941_REV1.025/09/2018Download
AEM10941 mini boardMB_AEM10941_REV1.208/04/2019Download
AEM10941 mini evaluation boardMEB_AEM10941_REV1.019/03/2019Download
AEM10941 extDCDC mini evaluation boardMEB_AEM10941_extDCDC_REV1.019/03/2019Download

Contact email: info@hawyang-semi.com

HAWYANG SEMICONDUCTOR CORP.