Global Lecture Series at FPTK UPI: Exploring Energy Harvesting

On Monday, October 9, 2023, from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia hosted a public lecture to encourage intellectually stimulating discussions on various aspects of Energy Harvesting. This enlightening event, organized by three study programs – Electrical Engineering, Electrical Engineering Education, and Industrial Automation and Robotics Engineering Education – focused on the theme “Energy Harvesting from Electromagnetic Waves and Fields.” The event was held in the Auditorium on the 4th floor of the Faculty of Technology and Vocational Education (FPTK) Building.

The event showcased Muhammad Bilal, M.Sc., a prominent expert from the University of Portsmouth, UK. The moderator was Dede Saputra, S.Pd., M.T., representing the Electrical Engineering department at Universitas Jenderal Ahmad Yani (UNJANI).

The lecture began with an intriguing introduction to the world of energy harvesting, also known as Energy Scavenging. This process involves extracting energy from various environmental sources and converting it into usable forms, such as electrical power. Although it produces relatively modest power outputs, energy harvesting excels in efficiently harnessing low electronic energy.

One of the lecture’s fascinating points was how Energy Harvesting can empower electronic devices in places lacking conventional power sources. To function smoothly, EH systems need dependable energy storage and efficient delivery methods. A key takeaway was the idea that Energy Harvesting could provide a continuous energy supply, significantly extending the lifespan of electronic devices.

The lecture explored the reasons behind the growing interest in Energy Harvesting. It emphasized advancements in transducer technology and the use of low-power circuits as key factors. The lecture stressed the importance of pushing electronic devices to their limits. A crucial message was conveyed: a device’s reliability is directly linked to the reliability of its power source. As long as minimal requirements are met, every device will function.

Moreover, the lecture highlighted significant trends driving innovation in the field. Specifically, the integration of ultra-low-power processors and electronics into a wide range of smart devices and sensors is creating a network of interconnected smart devices across sectors like healthcare, industry, buildings, equipment, and transportation. With this network expanding, there is a growing demand for new electrical solutions to ensure energy efficiency and reliability. The event concluded with a thorough examination of essential design factors for Energy Harvesting, which included:

  1. Assessing the accessible energy in the surrounding environment.
  2. Enhancing energy harvesting efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
  3. Computing power needs for all operational modes.
  4. Fine-tuning energy storage, acknowledging that a bigger battery may not always be the best solution.

The public lecture offered insights into different energy sources that can be harvested, such as light (captured through photovoltaic cells), vibrations or pressure (captured via piezoelectric elements), temperature variations, radio frequencies, and electromagnetic frequencies.

In summary, the public lecture held on October 09, 2023, shed light on the pressing requirement for affordable energy harvesting solutions. These solutions will power the billions of smart devices expected to be in use in the coming years. The success of this initiative depends on the convergence of the Energy Harvesting Ecosystem, where innovation and sustainability come together to pave the way for a more energy-efficient future for electronic devices globally.