Energy harvesting involves harvesting small amounts of energy from the environment—heat, vibration, solar—to store energy and power circuits. To experiment with energy harvesting, Hack Manhattan created an LTC3105 breakout board. LTC3105 boosts voltages down to 225mV up to 5V, with a couple of bells and whistles.
In the photo we’re powering a red LED (bottom left) from 0.6V, roughly the voltage of a single silicon solar cell. (Just don’t ask about the efficiency.)
Linear Technology makes other parts that can be powered from piezoelectric vibration energy harvesters, thermoelectric or Peltier generators, and other sources. Our next experiment will be to light up an LED using the temperature difference between skin and air.
Thanks to Linear Technology for providing free samples.