Microwave Antennas for Energy Harvesting Applications [chapter]

Dalia Elsheakh
2017 Microwave Systems and Applications  
In the last few years, the demand for power has increased; therefore, the need for alternate energy sources has become essential. Sources of fossil fuels are finite, are costly, and causes environmental hazard. Sustainable, environmentally benign energy can be derived from nuclear fission or captured from ambient sources. Large-scale ambient energy is widely available and large-scale technologies are being developed to efficiently capture it. At the other end of the scale, there are small
more » ... s of wasted energy that could be useful if captured. There are various types of external energy sources such as solar, thermal, wind, and RF energy. Energy has been harvested for different purposes in the last few recent years. Energy harvesting from inexhaustible sources with no adverse environmental effect can provide unlimited energy for harvesting in a way of powering an embedded system from the environment. It could be RF energy harvesting by using antennas that can be held on the car glass or building, or in any places. The abundant RF energy is harvested from surrounding sources. This chapter focuses on RF energy harvesting in which the abundant RF energy from surrounding sources, such as nearby mobile phones, wireless LANs (WLANs), Wi-Fi, FM/AM radio signals, and broadcast television signals or DTV, is captured by a receiving antenna and rectified into a usable DC voltage. A practical approach for RF energy harvesting design and management of the harvested and available energy for wireless sensor networks is to improve the energy efficiency and large accepted antenna gain. The emerging self-powered systems challenge and dictate the direction of research in energy harvesting (EH). There are a lot of applications of energy harvesting such as wireless weather stations, car tire pressure monitors, implantable medical devices, traffic alert signs, and mars rover. A lot of researches are done to create several designs of rectenna (antenna and rectifier) that meet various objectives for use in RF energy harvesting, whatever opaque or transparent. However, most of the designed antennas are opaque and prevent the sunlight to pass through, so it is hard to put it on the car glass or window. Thus, there should be a design for transparent antenna that allows the sunlight to pass through. Among various antennas, microstrip patch antennas are widely used because they are low profile, are lightweight, and have planar structure. Microstrip patch-structured rectennas are evaluated and compared with an emphasis on the various methods adopted to obtain a rectenna with harmonic rejection functionality, frequency, and polarization selectivity. Multiple frequency bands are tapped for energy harvesting, and this aspect of the implementation is one of the main focus points. The bands targeted for harvesting in this chapter will be those that are the most readily available to the general population. These include Wi-Fi hotspots, as well as cellular (900/850 MHz band), personal communications services (1800/1900 MHz band), and sources of 2.4 GHz and WiMAX (2.3/3.5 GHz) network transmitters. On the other hand, at high frequency, advances in nanotechnology have led to the development of semiconductor-based solar cells, nanoscale antennas for power harvesting applications, and integration of antennas into solar cells to design low-cost light-weight systems. The role of nanoantenna system is transforming thermal energy provided by the sun to electricity. Nanoantennas target the mid-infrared wavelengths where conventional photo voltaic cells are inefficient. However, the concept of using optical rectenna for harvesting solar energy was first introduced four decades ago. Recently, it has invited a surge of interest, with different laboratories around the world working on various aspects of the technology. The result is a technology that can be efficient and inexpensive, requiring only low-cost materials. Unlike conventional solar cells that harvest energy in visible light frequency range. Since the UV frequency range is much greater than visible light, we consider the quantum mechanical behavior of a driven particle in nanoscale antennas for power harvesting applications.
doi:10.5772/64918 fatcat:nzgolrslynbqpi3duhx3zpndny