Non-Intrusive Energy Harvesting Systems and Methods


Reference #: 00758

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for this technology.

Potential Applications:

The invention is intended to provide energy harvesting for devices which cannot be connected to an energy source directly and for sensors in electric power systems.

Advantages and Benefits:

Traditional modes of energy supply, such as batteries, have not been able to sufficiently provide the continuous or intermittent power needed by wireless sensors and other miniature devices. The invention is intended to overcome the problems presented by current technology by meeting the following specifications: 1) small size, 2) sufficient output to drive sensors or charge batteries, 3) light weight, 4) simple construction, 5) and inexpensive price. Though the operating principles at work are similar to those of a transformer or Rogowski coil, the energy coupler, unlike the Rogowski coil has the ability to create an output signal capable of energy harvest. Unlike the transformer and Rogowski coil, the energy coupler is flexible and can be formed to enclose a power conductor ensuring maximum harvesting efficiency.

Invention Description:

The current invention describes an energy coupler that when used by wireless sensors, can harvest energy from the ambient environment to sustain data communication operation. The technology consists of an inductive energy coupler capable of scavenging and saving AC power from power cables passing through it.

Development/Demonstration / Validation:

The designed energy coupler can recharge a rechargeable battery to a rated voltage of 1.2 volts in approximately 3 hours.

Future Development:

Besides electric system sensors, the energy harvesting element has the potential to be used to charge and recharge small power devices like cell phones, audio players, watches, and cameras, reducing power outlets required in homes.

Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Non-Intrusive Energy Harvesting Systems and Methods Utility United States 12/631,175 8,564,298 12/4/2009 10/22/2013 12/29/2030  
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Mohammod Ali
Roger Dougal
Rashed Bhuiyan
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