Storage Battery Solutions for Energy Harvesting Applications
Don Scansen from Electronic Products gives some good insights in his article on DigiKey's website about how to store your energy for your electronic projects so they never run out of power.
"Ambient light, thermal gradients, vibration/motion, or electromagnetic radiation can be harvested to power electronic devices. At the same time, all energy-harvesting-based systems need energy storage for times when the energy cannot be harvested (e.g., at night for solar-powered systems). Rechargeable batteries ‒ known as “secondary” cells to differentiate them from “primary” or single-use cells ‒ are usually specified for this task. This article will examine the various secondary cell technologies available to energy harvesting system designers looking for a cost-effective and powerful battery solution."
"Primary and secondary batteries contain the same basic structure of a cathode, an anode, an electrolyte for moving charge between the terminals, and a means to separate them. Secondary cells are distinguished by the type of rechargeable chemistry employed, such as nickel-cadmium or lithium-polymer, or solid-state thin film.
Although the energy-harvesting-system designer may not be focused on cell structure and chemistry, it will be helpful to develop a working knowledge of the various technologies since it is the cell chemistry that determines all of the battery performance metrics and limits. (For more details and explanation about storage battery performance metrics consult the Energy Harvesting TechZone article, Understanding Storage Battery Specifications for Energy Harvesting.)"
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