Power management IC targets energy harvesting apps

Milpitas, Calif. — Linear Technology Corp. has released its first device in a new family of power management products for energy harvesting applications. The LTC3108, an ultra-low (20 mV) input voltage dc/dc converter and power manager, is designed to interface with thermoelectric devices that convert small temperature differentials into electrical energy and convert that energy into a usable form for powering a wide range of applications, said Linear Technology.

“Untapped energy from nontraditional sources exists all around us including heat, vibration or light generated from natural sources or as a by-product from industrial processes,” said Don Paulus, Linear’s vice president and power products general manager, in a statement.

“Transducers to harvest this ambient or waste energy are available, but the missing link in the energy harvesting chain has been an efficient and manufacturable means to convert the low-level transducer output into usable power. Our new LTC3108 DC/DC power manager solves this problem for thermal energy-based systems,” Paulus added.


“With this entry into the energy harvesting market, Linear Technology provides a key enabler for a new generation of wireless sensor products based on ambient thermal energy,” Markus Brehler, CEO of wireless sensor company EnOcean.

Energy from ambient temperature gradients can be harvested from a variety of sources including heating ducts and radiators, engines and motors, friction sources and the human body. Application areas include building automation, avionics, automated metering, remote sensor installations, predictive maintenance and wearable electronics.

Resources: Datasheet