Murata announces tiny energy harvesting devices

Murata has created two tiny energy-harvesting devices, which it hopes will provide electricity for sensors and wireless components getting rid of the need for an external power supply.

The two devices, one which generates electricity from small vibrations, and the other from faint light sources, follow previous work when it came up with a product that generates electricity from thermal differentials – and another that uses a piezoelectric element to convert pressure into electricity.

The two creations will be put to market from 2011, with Murata hoping they will be used in a broad range of fields, including industrial equipment and cars.

The light-based energy harvester uses an organic material to absorb and convert light energy. It can generate 100 microwatts from a light source of 400 lux, comparable to the brightness of a typical office. The electricity accumulates in a capacitor, so that several watts of power are available to drive sensors and wireless components integrated into the module.

The vibration energy harvester can generate 100 microwatts when lightly shaken by hand.

According to Nikkei Business Daily, Murata will release further product specifications and begin manufacturing next year.