Nano-Power Integrated Circuits for Energy Harvesting

Dini, Michele (2015) Nano-Power Integrated Circuits for Energy Harvesting, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Tecnologie dell'informazione, 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6947.
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The energy harvesting research field has grown considerably in the last decade due to increasing interests in energy autonomous sensing systems, which require smart and efficient interfaces for extracting power from energy source and power management (PM) circuits. This thesis investigates the design trade-offs for minimizing the intrinsic power of PM circuits, in order to allow operation with very weak energy sources. For validation purposes, three different integrated power converter and PM circuits for energy harvesting applications are presented. They have been designed for nano-power operations and single-source converters can operate with input power lower than 1 μW. The first IC is a buck-boost converter for piezoelectric transducers (PZ) implementing Synchronous Electrical Charge Extraction (SECE), a non-linear energy extraction technique. Moreover, Residual Charge Inversion technique is exploited for extracting energy from PZ with weak and irregular excitations (i.e. lower voltage), and the implemented PM policy, named Two-Way Energy Storage, considerably reduces the start-up time of the converter, improving the overall conversion efficiency. The second proposed IC is a general-purpose buck-boost converter for low-voltage DC energy sources, up to 2.5 V. An ultra-low-power MPPT circuit has been designed in order to track variations of source power. Furthermore, a capacitive boost circuit has been included, allowing the converter start-up from a source voltage VDC0 = 223 mV. A nano-power programmable linear regulator is also included in order to provide a stable voltage to the load. The third IC implements an heterogeneous multisource buck-boost converter. It provides up to 9 independent input channels, of which 5 are specific for PZ (with SECE) and 4 for DC energy sources with MPPT. The inductor is shared among channels and an arbiter, designed with asynchronous logic to reduce the energy consumption, avoids simultaneous access to the buck-boost core, with a dynamic schedule based on source priority.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Dini, Michele
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze e ingegneria dell'informazione
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
energy harvesting, MPPT, nano-power, piezoelectri transducers, thermoelectric generator, SECE, photovoltaic, power conversion, CMOS, integrated circuits
Data di discussione
4 Maggio 2015

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