Printable Energy Harvesting for the Self Powered IoT

Dr Simon King,

Cambridge Display Technology Ltd (Company Number 02672530)


As the number of wireless sensor networks expands, the use of primary batteries is expected to become cumbersome due to the need for regular battery replacement; the alternative approach is to use energy harvesting with secondary batteries to power these sensors.

To address these needs CDT is working on a number of projects in flexible energy harvesting and storage, including printable thermoelectrics, flexible batteries and organic photovoltaics. We will present our recent technological advancements in these fields. In particular, we will update on recent performance improvements in the thermoelectric module demonstrating the increased power and voltage output necessary to drive wireless sensors. By employing printing processes as an alternative to conventional TEG manufacturing steps, our device has the potential to allow the cost-effective deployment on a large scale needed for IoT applications.

In addition to the device development itself, we will discuss the power requirements of some applications within the IoT and how they impact on the energy harvesting system design. Finally, we will demonstrate how the thermoelectric module can be employed as a power source for a wireless sensor.

Biography – Simon King

Having completed a PhD in photophysics of conjugated polymers at the University of Durham, Simon joined CDT in 2009. Having published over 40 peer reviewed articles and patents he has continued to work in a wide variety of printed electronics fields including OLED devices, phosphorescent materials and energy harvesting and storage. He now leads the development of CDTs printable thermoelectric devices.