A review of commercial energy harvesters for autonomous sensors
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Current commercial autonomous sensors are mainly powered by primary batteries. Batteries need to be replaced and hence can become the largest and most expensive part of the system. On the other hand, our environment is full of waste and unused energy such as that coming from the sun or mechanical vibrations. As a result, commercial energy harvesters are increasingly available to power autonomous sensors. This work presents and analyses commercial energy harvesters currently available. First, environmental energy sources are classified and described. Then, energy harvesting principles are described and some guidelines are given to calculate the maximum power consumption allowed and the energy storage capacity required for the autonomous sensor. Finally, commercial energy harvesters are evaluated to determine their capability to power a commercial autonomous sensor in some given circumstances.