Interesting Talk on Energy Harvesting Technologies

Interesting talk about energy harvesting technologies by Brian Zahnstecher from PowerRox.

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Opportunities in Energy Harvesting

All across the entire world of electronics one will see mention of the importance of optimizing efficiency and nowhere is this more important than in the low power application space. Unfortunately, most of these mentions merely pay lip service to the need for higher efficiency without going deeper into exactly what this means and methodologies for how to actually achieve high efficiency and power savings. It is also important to understand why a bigger battery is not the answer for most solutions and that clarifying this point along with internalizing intelligent power management is essential to making or breaking the astounding volume predictions of the IoT/Wearable/Sensor Network markets.

This talk will provide a short overview of the key design needs (driven by market demands/challenges), then focus on defining energy harvesting, in its many forms, and understanding the various constituents of the existing, production, energy harvesting ecosystem from energy capture (i.e. – transducers) to control/conversion/regulation/battery management (i.e. – power management ICs or PMICs) to storage (i.e. – batteries, supercapacitors, etc.) and beyond. The many forms of scavenged energy will be broken down to better understand the associated voltage/power levels along with matching to practical applications. In an incremental way, it will be demonstrated how energy harvesting technologies can serve many useful purposes to supplement battery life in applications that cannot be fully sustained by scavenged energy, which provides a roadmap from partial to the eventual full mitigation of batteries.

About Brian Zahnstecher:

Brian Zahnstecher is a Sr. Member of the IEEE, Chair of the IEEE SFBAC Power Electronics Society (PELS) awarded 2017 Best Chapter awards at the local/national/worldwide levels concurrently (an unprecedented achievement), sits on the Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA) Board of Directors, and is the Principal of PowerRox, where he focuses on power design, integration, system applications, OEM market penetration, market research/analysis, and private seminars for power electronics.

He leads Power for the IEEE 5G Roadmap Applications & Services Working Group, authored the Group’s position paper, and has lectured on this topic at major industry conferences. He has successfully handled assignments in system design/architecting, AC/DC front-end power, EMC/EMI design/debug, embedded solutions, processor power, and digital power solutions for a variety of clients. He previously held positions in power electronics with industry leaders Emerson Network Power (now Artesyn), Cisco, and Hewlett-Packard, where he advised on best practices, oversaw product development, managed international teams, created/enhanced optimal workflows and test procedures, and designed and optimized voltage regulators. He has been a regular contributor to the industry as an invited keynote speaker, author, workshop participant, session host, roundtable moderator, and volunteer. He has over 14 years of industry experience and holds Master of Engineering and Bachelor of Science degrees from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

PowerRox ( is a firm dedicated to solving power problems for those seeking to establish or enhance their position in the enterprise and consumer power electronics marketplace. We specialize in improving efficiency, increasing reliability, achieving cost reduction through hands-on support and training/seminars/workshops. We can solve problems in power supply design, power system development, system debug and test, cost/performance analysis, marketing, and re-design. We are committed to meeting all deadlines, performing on-budget, debugging/testing solutions to required levels, and doing the highest quality work possible.

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