Performance evaluation of power management systems in microbial fuel cell-based energy harvesting applications for driving small electronic devices

Daxing Zhang, Fan Yang, Tsutomu Shimotori, Kuang Ching Wang, Yong Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Power management system (PMS) is critical for driving electronic loads using energy harvested by microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Two promising MFC PMS designs, charge pump-capacitor-converter type and capacitor-transformer- converter type, are presented and compared in their performance in driving a wireless sensing system. It is found that the capacitor-transformer-converter type PMS can accommodate lower input voltages, but the charge pump-capacitor-converter type PMS has a slightly higher power efficiency. Furthermore, the charging speed of the capacitor-transformer-converter type PMS is not limited by the charge pump as in the charge pump-capacitor-converter type PMS, resulting in a shorter charging/discharging cycle. The findings suggest that for loads with large duty cycles comparable to the charging time, the charge pump-capacitor-converter type PMS is recommended for its higher power efficiency; on the other hand, for ultra-low MFC output and/or time-sensitive missions, the capacitor-transformer-converter type PMS is recommended for its wider input voltage range and shorter charging/discharging cycle. Highlights: Different power management systems (PMSs) for microbial fuel cells are evaluated. Charge pump-capacitor-converter type PMS has a higher power efficiency. Capacitor-transformer-converter type PMS has a shorter charging/discharging cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume217
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012

Keywords

  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Power management system
  • Super-capacitor
  • Wireless sensor

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