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Archive for January, 2011

Design News Reviews Powercast P2110-EVAL-01 RF Energy Harvesting Development Kit

January 27th, 2011

design-news

As announced back in October 2010, Powercast released a development kit to showcase using RF energy for remotely powering battery-free wireless sensors. Jon Titus of Design News was gracious enough to review the kit and gave Powercast ratings of 5 out of 5 in all four areas of the review: Ease of Set-up, Quality and Clarity of Documentation, Overall Experience, and Meets Expectations.

The article is titled “Kit Harvests RF Energy” and we appreciate the subtitle “Engineers who must implement low-power devices that cannot run on local power need this kit from Powercast Corp.”

p2110-eval-01

The components in the kit enable wireless and battery-free operation of the sensor nodes at a distance of 40-45 feet (13-15 meters). Each sensor board can measure temperature, humidity, light, and an external sensor. This can be used for a number of applications including building automation, energy management and industrial monitoring. Power is provided by Powercast’s new 3W transmitter (TX91501-3W-ID), which also sends factory-set data. The P2110 Powerharvester receiver converts the RF energy from the receiving antenna and stores it into a capacitor, which is then boosted to operate the wireless sensor board. The Microchip XLP 16-bit Development Board with the 802.15.4 radio is the access point.

Product Link | Press Release

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Powercast P2110 Harvests Ambient RF Energy from iPhone for Battery-Free Wireless Sensors

January 6th, 2011

In an earlier post we demonstrated an iPhone powering LEDs in close proximity using Powercast’s RF energy harvesting technology.

The video below demonstrates the use of a standard iPhone in 2G mode to generate RF energy that is used to power a battery-free wireless sensor node. The sensor node is part of Powercast’s Lifetime Power (TM) Energy Harvesting Development Kit for Wireless Senors (P2110-EVAL-01), the receiving board is based on the P2110 Powerharvester Receiver, and the antenna was slightly modified from it’s original tuning for 915MHz.

The wireless sensor node was designed by Powercast and Microchip for ultra-low power operation.  At a distance of 2 feet from the iPhone packets are transmitted from node every every 1-2 seconds.  As this video shows, mobile phones can be a practical, portable source of wireless power for a wide range of applications.

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