The future of energy harvesting will not be an extension of the past. It will hugely benefit society, creating billion dollar businesses but mostly in completely new ways. Few have heard of the companies now taking significant orders. The new 220 page IDTechEx report, “Energy Harvesting Microwatt to Megawatt 2019-2029” has the insights and new information. It is uniquely comprehensive and up to date
For example, the report covers the disappointing market of vibration harvesting and reveals new forms but it takes you up a notch to new priorities. Random movement of humans powering wearables is a major focus now. Indeed, semi-random ocean wave harvesting is clocking orders of up to $100 million this year for silent, invisible devices needing little or no energy storage – another important theme at all power levels.
On latest interviews and evidence, the globe-trotting PhD analysts preparing the report conclude that piezoelectrics and thermoelectrics may be overtaken in sales by triboelectric harvesters. These promise lower cost, non-poisonous materials in mass-produced devices from microwatts to megawatts, not stuck at the low end. However, ambitious new piezoelectric and thermoelectric research and aspirations are also assessed.
Throughout the report, many gaps in the market are identified and new technology and market comparisons are made. The Executive Summary and Conclusions is comprehensive for those in a hurry. Easily grasped but comprehensive, it has many new infographics and forecasts. The Introduction then presents definitions, technology comparisons, system design basics and the newly significant sectors of flexible and very importantly new structural harvesting.
Latest airborne wind and ocean harvesting reveals a trend to operation without infrastructure. Vibration harvesting is also covered here since all these exploit many harvesting modes fully detailed in the following chapters. The report goes into many billion dollar opportunities and new directions such as battery and poison elimination. Learn how some are further advanced than most realise with 110 solar road projects and over 120MW of new wave power just ordered in farms of small units. Chapter 3 goes fully into Energy Harvesting Systems.
That includes importance of multimode harvesting even matching time dependence of load. Energy storage options are compared including the significance of greatly improved supercapacitors. Chapter 4 is called Photovoltaic Reinvented because it reveals new chemistries, solar windows, even customised greenhouses, energy independent vehicles and more. Chapter 5 Motion: Electrodynamic appropriately gives thorough coverage of the other dominant technology and its new forms from integral sensor power to geothermal. An infographic shows four wind power formats now appearing under the sea: future winners are identified.
Chapter 6 Motion: Triboelectric covers what the authors predict to be a large future market and why. Haptic switches with self-powered radio and high-power electricity from tires and waves are some of the experiments. Chapter 7 is Motion: Piezoelectric and chapter 8 Motion: Capacitive Electret, Dielectric Elastomer Generator DEG and Magnetostrictive now targeting a wider range of power levels and applications. Finally Chapter 9 explores Heat: Thermoelectric, Pyroelectric and Ocean Thermal Gradient. Throughout, there is a great deal of coverage of the material formulations involved and the huge potential for materials including flexible and load-bearing electrical materials. This report is of particular interest to those making fine chemicals, added value materials and devices and those involved in product and systems integration and software. Users and potential users, those seeking to improve healthcare, replace batteries, diesel gensets and vehicle engines and go off grid will find much of interest.