In this month’s MIT Technology Review there was a brief entry titled Harvesting Heat, discussing TE-POWER a product that “uses any source of thermal energy to drive a wireless transceiver, storing power in a thin-film battery”.
These kinds of thermo-harvesting are part of the foundation for the next generation of sensor deployment. By using parasitic power generation techniques and taking advantage of the environmental effects of industrial exhaust pipes and other temperature differences sensors can be placed in more locations, increasing the value and deployment of edge devices.
They claim that a 10 degree C difference produces enough energy to transmit 13 bytes of information per second.
I was looking through some of my past entries and was surprised how many I had around the issue of power for sensors going all the way back to at least 2007. I’ve linked to a few of those above.