By Nick Gilbert
Frost & Sullivan's research titled, “Advances in Energy Harvesting Technologies for Building Automation”, has revealed that improvements in energy harvesting (EH) technologies increase efficiency in buildings.
The development in the EH technology has enabled building automation systems (BASs) to detect and address energy wastage from buildings in a more independent and flexible manner. This is offered via energy harvesters’ ability to search ambient energy, such as solar power and electrical, kinetic and thermal energy, enabling EHs to resupply energy regularly. In addition, the devices’ energy efficiency allows wireless sensor networks (WSNs) to be positioned at any place of the building. EHs help increase battery life and reduce maintenance and disposal expenditures.
Universities are exploring designs and techniques to decrease the EH footprint and improve the power density factor. Additionally, initiatives by original equipment manufacturer (OEM) have brought together market players to use products with interoperability and easy implementation for end-users.
Saju John Mathew, Technical Insights Industry Analyst, stated that reduction in the energy usage of EHs has not affected the device’s performance. However, dense packing and the unique microstructuring design have increased the power density by many folds. This allows the EH technology to be integrated with various customized WSN applications, added Mathew. Mass adoption of the technology is delayed as more research and development is required to establish a total solution.