Scientists at MIT, who have always been on the forefront of technology, have impressed the one once again with a new electronic chip that harnesses renewable energy from a variety of sources and could possibly be the first step towards a truly battery-free system. Unlike other similar technologies developed in other parts of the world, this new electronic chip can harvest energy from a range of green sources simultaneously.
The new chip captures energy from sunlight, heat and even vibrations at the same time, to better the energy output and also ensuring that the chip won’t stop even if one or two sources of energy die out. The developer team, lead by professor Anantha Chandrakasan, states that the goal is to create a chip that can efficiently harness a multitude of renewable energy sources at the same time for more efficiency.
Most computer systems that generate clean energy from the environment focus on a particular source or even if they are capable in harnessing different sources, they switch to the source with the capability to generate the maximum amount of energy, resulting in wastage at the other end.
The chip follows a dual-path architecture, which enables it to either charge up a storage device, which can be a capacitor, or power the actual sensor bypassing the storage system altogether for more efficiency. The work has received appreciation from researchers over the globe with David Freeman at the Texas Instruments stating that the work is very important to enabling energy harvesting in various environments at a high level of efficiency.