27 March 2018 An integrated self priming circuit with electret charge source
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Dielectric elastomer generators (DEG) are well suited to harvest energy from natural motion sources (e.g. water, human locomotion). DEG require a source of high voltage charge to generate energy. In low cost, low power DEG, a high voltage charge source is expensive and impractical to implement. The Self Priming Circuit (SPC) can be used to remove the high voltage charge source and replace it with a low voltage one. The SPC works by moving charge onto and off the DEG in synchrony with DEG compression to enable voltage boosting. For the initial cycle a low voltage source is still required in the form of a battery or similar device which in some instances can completely discharge, rendering the DEG useless. Another approach is to include an electret into the DEG design. The electret acts as a permanent voltage source for the DEG and SPC. This allows the DEG to receive a medium voltage (much higher than a battery) from the electret and then boost this voltage up to a high voltage where generation efficiency is improved. This paper presents an integrated SPC with an electret charge source that is capable of boosting quickly to a high voltage without the addition of external charge.
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Patrin K. Illenberger, Patrin K. Illenberger, Plinio Zanini, Plinio Zanini, Samuel Rosset, Samuel Rosset, Udaya K. Madawala, Udaya K. Madawala, Iain A. Anderson, Iain A. Anderson, "An integrated self priming circuit with electret charge source", Proc. SPIE 10594, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) XX, 1059429 (27 March 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2296460; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2296460

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