Hannover Messe

Energy Harvesting: Self-sufficient energy sensors of the future at HMI 2019

Fraunhofer FEP / 20.2.2019

The trend towards energy-autonomous sensors and ever smaller mobile electronic systems is unbroken. Energy-autonomous sensors are used, for example, to monitor the condition of engines and aircraft or in the field of medical implants. In this context, the Fraunhofer FEP exhibits an Energy Harvesting Demonstrator at the Hannover Messe 2019 from April 1st to April 5th.

© Fraunhofer FEP

Energy Harvesting demonstrator with AlN layers

Where space is limited and replacement is difficult, the power supply of sensors via batteries or cords is usually too cumbersome. The energy supply should be integrated and long-lasting. Energy harvesting offers a solution by generating energy on-site using solar cells as well as thermoelectric or piezoelectric materials.

Piezoelectrics can convert mechanical vibrations into electrical energy by separating charges through the action of a mechanical force. They can be used wherever there is a defined, if not necessarily constant, vibration behavior - on machines, in aircraft engines, in engines or even in the human body, where blood pressure, respiration or heartbeat provide impulses. Previously, lead zirconate titanate was mainly used for piezoelectric materials. An alternative is aluminium nitride, which is lead-free, more stable and biocompatible than zirconate titanate. Another advantage of aluminium nitride coatings: They can be easily integrated into standard microelectronic manufacturing processes.

Energy Harvesting Demonstrator FEP

At the Hannover Messe 2019 the Fraunhofer FEP presents an energy harvesting solution based on deposited aluminium nitride layers. The demonstrator consists of an electromagnetic shaker system to generate defined mechanical vibrations.

The Fraunhofer Group for Light & Surfaces

Further information about the Hannover Messe 2019 and on the exhibits by the Fraunhofer Light & Surfaces Group can be received on a regular basis on our homepage under “Press & Events“.

The Fraunhofer Group for Light & Surfaces brings together the expertise of six Fraunhofer institutes. The institutes combine coordinated competencies in the fields of laser manufacturing processes, laser beam sources, metrology, medicine and life sciences, optical systems and optical manufacturing, EUV technology, process and system simulation, materials technology, micro- and nanotechnology, thin-film as well as plasma and electron beam technology.