Alix Paultre, Power Editor, AspenCore – Editor-in-Chief, Power Electronics News
For all its promise, the Internet of Things faces a major obstacle to its growth. Its wireless sensors and transmitters depend on billions of batteries, which have to be changed and disposed of.
But now, there’s a solution. The revolutionary Evercell™ can power small wireless devices for their entire lives – without batteries.
A major 2017 study published before the announcement of Evercell™ found that “80% of the potential for IoT will be denied us” without such a permanent power source. So a device with Evercell’s™ performance would be expected to expand the population of IoT devices by a factor of five.
With Evercell™, wireless sensors can be installed where batteries aren’t an option – within the concrete of bridges and dams, for example, or in remote and hostile areas, or within the human body.
In essentially any environment where the temperature is above absolute zero, Evercell™ harvests thermal energy to generate a very small, nonstop flow of electric power.
Above a temperature of absolute zero, the tiny particles in all matter are constantly in motion. Within the same material, some particles are warmer (more active), some are cooler (less active), and their average is the temperature we can feel and measure.
Noting this, the nineteenth century physicist James Clerk Maxwell conducted a thought experiment. If we could somehow send the warmer particles to one side of the material and the cooler particles to the other, he said, we could generate electricity.
And that’s what Evercell™ does.
Up to now, Maxwell’s vision was considered interesting but irrelevant, because separating the particles into warmer and cooler zones would require more work-in than the energy-out it would produce.
Click here to see a live Evercell™ technology demonstration from the APEC 2018 conference.
No matter the measured temperature, an Evercell™ creates a thermoelectric potential, based only on the difference in temperature of the particles.
The patented Evercell™ will never run down, because its particles will always have a temperature difference. And they will always be re-heated by the ambient environment, as long as it’s above absolute zero.
About the size of a postage stamp, the Evercell™ is made from inexpensive, non-toxic engineered materials, uses no fuel, and has no moving parts.
It will typically outlive the sensor or transmitter it powers, keeping billions of dead batteries out of the world’s landfills.
Since the public announcement of Evercell™ in early 2018, scientists have confirmed the invention’s validity, and news outlets and industry experts have responded with great interest.
Evercell™ will give us, at last, an inexpensive, reliable, continuous source of power for small wireless devices. It promises to drive a major expansion of the Internet of Things and improve our lives in many other ways.
Face® is a member of the BRIDG consortium, which will spearhead the initial manufacture and marketing of Evercell™.
A not-for-profit, industry-led public-private partnership based in Osceola County, Florida, BRIDG specializes in advanced sensors, optics, photonics and advanced manufacturing devices.
The consortium provides the physical infrastructure and collaboration to connect challenges and opportunities with solutions – thus “Bridging the Innovation Development Gap” and making commercialization possible. Read BRIDG’s Evercell™ announcement and learn more at www.GoBRIDG.com.
Evercell™ is one of the Evergreen® energy harvesting technologies developed by The Face® Companies.