Energy Harvesters markets at $131.4 million in 2012 are projected to increase to $4.2 billion in 2019 in a new WinterGreen Research study, Energy Harvesting Market Shares, Strategy, and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2013 to 2019.
Storage devices can leverage the power captured by energy harvesting devices. Energy storage technologies of super-capacitors and thin-film batteries have become cost-effective. Energy harvesting devices have attained workable levels of efficiency. Many applications are related to smarter computing that depends on sensors capturing change in conditions and making adjustments to the environment based on measured change.
Existing energy harvesting and storage applications include vibration-based wireless train measuring systems, wireless sensors distributed city wide to implement smart cities, oil field monitoring systems, windup laptops for use in remote regions, and wireless light switches for use in smart buildings. Wireless sensors are self-powering. They can be used to alert and monitor a range of environments and incidents, pollution and forest fires, temperature in a building.
Energy harvesting technologies include electrodynamics, photovoltaics, piezoelectrics, and thermovoltaics. Technological developments in the fields of low-power electronics and energy storage systems have allowed energy harvesting to become an increasingly viable technology. It is alternatively referred to as energy scavenging and power harvesting. Energy harvesting technology has become sophisticated and efficient.
Growth is anticipated to be based on demand for micro power generation that can be used to charge thin film batteries. Systems provide clean energy that is good for the environment. Growth is based on global demand for sensors and wireless sensor networks that permit control of systems.