Energy Harvesting: turning tiny power into a big opportunity


It's no stretch to say energy harvesting (EH) technologies, which convert small amounts of energy from their nearby surroundings or environment into electricity, are "renewable." Piezoelectric, thermoelectric, photovoltaic (PV), and electromagnetic technologies are examples that can be used to help devices gain energy from vibrations in moving objects, regions with temperature differences, or areas with light or magnetic fields. Though the technologies have been around for a while, electronic devices running on low and ultra-low power are finally emerging that could benefit from EH technologies, so there are an increasing number of opportunities that could include plastic components.

Pike Research recently released a report that divides this growing industry into many market segments such as consumer, industrial, medical, military, power tools, automotive, and vehicle kinetic motion. They estimate that the $2 billion in EH revenue at the end of 2010 will grow to be $9.5B in 2015....

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