Drives and Controls Magazine

Energy harvesting transmitters open up new applications

15 January, 2012

EnOcean, the German specialist in self-powered wireless transmission technologies, has launched a third generation of mechanical energy converters which, it says, operate more efficiently, with less noise and higher load capabilities.

EnOcean’s battery-free wireless systems harvest energy from their surroundings – from light, differences in temperature or motion, for example. They can also produce the energy to transmit a wireless signal from the press of a button. When a spring mechanism reaches a snap-over point, a coil reverses the magnetic flux to generate the energy to power an attached transmitter module with a transmission range of up to 30m indoors and 300m in the open.

OEMs can quickly implement battery-free wireless switching systems which can be used with various industrial controls and receivers. Potential applications range from handheld transmitters to position switches.

“The versatility of this energy-harvesting technology, comprising energy converter and wireless module, introduces a new array of maintenance-free, wireless switching solutions, for use in any situation where a button is pressed,” says Armin Anders, EnOcean’s co-founder and head of product management. “There are so many new opportunities, especially in industry.”