Energy Harvesting

Our wireless energy harvesting sensors and switches collect and save the tiniest amounts of energy from their environment

Do you know that comforting feeling when the sun hits you in the early summer days or when you breathe in the fresh air in a forest? This can be a real energy booster! And that’s exactly what powers our self-powered sensors and switches. They don’t rely on batteries or wires to gain energy, they “harvest” it out of air. More precisely, they gain their energy from movement, light and temperature differences. This principle called energy harvesting is not only a low-cost alternative to batteries and wires, it is obviously much more sustainable.

We combine miniaturized energy harvesters and ultra-low power wireless technology to create maintenance-free sensor solutions for the use in buildings, smart homes and industrial applications as well as for the Internet of Things.

How it works

Did you know that a push of a button releases enough energy for a switch to turn lights on or household appliances off? Energy harvesting makes it possible. There’s a tiny electro-mechanical energy converter inside our battery-free switch modules which uses this movement to generate energy to send a radio telegram. No big deal.

The great thing is that the energy harvesting switches don’t look different from conventional models – you can choose from simple on/off or up/down switches to sliding and rotary controls for controlling light intensity and colour, heating, home entertainment or security systems. They are always ready for immediate use and anyone in the house can use them.

What’s more, we’re not limited to wireless switches. This technology works just as well for window contact sensors that tell you when a window is open or even water sensors. They use a swellable material which – when it expands – activates the electromechanical energy converter. Installed under the washing machine or bathtub, such sensors prevent you from having any water damage.

Small solar cells that you can find on our wireless sensor modules capture the light and convert it into energy. They don’t need much, 200 lux or less are already enough. This enables sensors to be operated, e.g. for humidity, temperature, window contacts or presence sensors. The great thing is that the sensors store all energy internally so the energy supply is secured for up to four days, even without a new energy supply.

EnOcean sensor modules also use the energy for communication via various low-energy wireless standards (EnOcean, Zigbee, Bluetooth®).

Isn’t it amazing that already a temperature difference of just 2° Celsius is sufficient to generate enough energy for a wireless sensor to operate? All we need is a Peltier element and a DC/DC converter. This method is ideal, for example, for self-powered heating valves that use the temperature difference between the heater and the environment to change the setting and communicate via radio with a solar-powered room controller.

What’s inside

Kinetic energy harvester ECO 200

In combination with a wireless switch module, the kinetic energy converter enables numerous battery-free switch applications.

Solar cell ECS 300 for self-powered wireless sensors

The solar cell powers EnOcean’s battery-free wireless sensors.

Thermal energy converter ECT 310 Perpetuum

Use our thermal energy converter for battery-free wireless sensors and actuators.

Energy production the sustainable way

EnOcean Energy Harvesting

At EnOcean, we have been using renewable energy for 20 years as power plants for our self-powered wireless sensors and switches. Thanks to energy harvesting, our solutions make batteries and wires redundant as they work entirely independent – with energy gained from movement, light or temperature.

We achieve sustainability when we implement technologies that consume as few resources as possible and use them to make homes, buildings and installations more efficient. This means minimizing energy consumption by automatically lowering the temperature and turning the lights off when no one is in the room or completely rationalising the space when it isn’t needed.

Digitization with self-powered sensors that supply necessary raw data makes all this possible. Less copper and PVC in the walls (without cables) and energy harvesting provide additional plus points where sustainability is concerned.