Innovative Energy Harvesting for Ambient Technology Platform
Energy harvesting (EH) is an eagerly anticipated technology to generate electric power from ambient energy sources. The aim of this project is to develop EH technology and to explore its applications for the future Internet of Things (IoT) society. Materials science and technology is one of the fields that have yielded the most progress with regard to Waseda University, and it will be utilized to develop novel energy conversion devices. We aim to realize autonomous sensing systems independent of power supply infrastructure, structural health monitoring systems for buildings and civil infrastructure, indoor environment monitoring systems, and ad hoc networks. Focusing on promising EH technologies, such as photovoltaics, thermoelectricity, and electromagnetic wave power generation, we attempt to implement them in our society by promoting industry-academia and inter-institutional collaborations.
This project promotes various EH- and IoT-related researches conducted by the institute members, aggregates the research outputs, proposes specific application examples, and conducts demonstration projects. The followings are the research agenda in this term:
1) Making a catalog of potential specs of each EH technology to decide a road map for each material and device
2) Proposing how to implement the EH technologies into our society, taking into account the weak and unstable nature of environmental energy sources
3) Proposing specific IoT applications based on EH technologies and promoting feasibility studies
4) Promoting implement research in collaboration with industry
Conventional systems have been designed assuming a high-integrity hardware environment so that power sources and power management circuits are treated as a black box. However, new, flexible thinking is necessary to implement the forthcoming EH-based IoT technology into our society, while accounting for the weaknesses and instability of environmental energy sources. An ultimate IoT technology that is independent of power supply infrastructure may be realized by establishing EH technology considering a possible application, and such ultimate IoT can solve various global issues related to environment, disaster, food, logistics, medical cost, and so on.