Many high-volume applications of large-area electronics (LAE) require portable sources of energy that are thin, flexible and cost effective.
Flexipower aims to develop architectures and processes to enable printing of RF energy harvesting components as a route to low-cost manufacture and to develop high-volume processes for their integration into a thin flexible system.
Whilst consideration of all elements of a RF harvesting system is included in the initial scope, the technology work will focus on the most important opportunities for creating a printed solution. Initial consideration will include the following topics:
- Passives (Capacitors, Inductors, Resistors)
- Voltage multipliers
- Simple output protection
- Simple circuits to optimise efficiency
- System integration
These components should provide the building blocks for use in other energy harvesting systems, such as PV, thermo and piezo.
Consideration of the topics will identify what can be achieved through printing and what can be achieved in silicon. The technology will focus initially on printing and later on how LAE can be integrated with silicon, leading to a demonstrator system.
The outcome will be the demonstration of an energy harvesting system that can be designed to match the demands of a low power mobile device.
The footage shows the energy that a smartphone puts out. Every time the phone searches for an RFID tag, that energy is harvested by this printed system and is used to power a conventional light emitting diode.