PowerMEMS Project - Microsystems for power generation
News & events
Stating the "power" problem
Miniaturisation, portability and more in general ubiquitous intelligence are strong drivers in technology development. The development of body networks, mobile and wireless computing, vision-based telecom has largely emphasised the need for performant wireless telecommunication protocols in combination with decentralised processing units. The power requirements of such systems or even the concept of ubiquitous power generation have received much less attention and in most cases come down to a traditional concept of battery-operated electronics.
The increasing demands for portable electronics in conjunction with the interest in zero-emission vehicles generated important improvements in battery performance over the last decade just think of the leaps from NiCd to NiMH and Li-Ion in notebook batteries. On the other hand are these batteries far from "clean" in environmental terms. Also, the energy density of even the most performing batteries is about 100 times less than that of fuel based systems.
What to do about this? One trend is to make the electronics less power-hungry, others try to make fuel-based systems typically on hydrogen. This also explains the enormous interest in fuel cells as they directly convert fuel-based chemical energy in electricity.
The powerMEMS project
The powerMEMS project aims the development of a technology for replacing rechargeable batteries in a wide range of applications. The proposed technology is based on power scavenging systems ranging from a few µW till the mW range and from the other side fuel based systems ranging from a few W to ultimately a kW.
Reply on content: Jan.Peirs at mech.kuleuven.be Copyright © 2005 Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Department of Mechanical Engineering