I'd like to learn more about ultra-low-power electronics and power harvesting.

It seems hard to do DIY these things because ultra-efficient generally means going as small and integrated as possible, but it would be really cool to explore ideas like deciwatt.global/gravitylight for powering little gadgets that mostly idle anyway


For example, I have an unfinished, WiFi-enabled remote for digitally-controlled lights in my house.

One of the annoyances of the remote is that it needs power itself. If it could be powered by squeezing a button or lifting a weight, that would eliminate the need for a USB cable sneaking off to a little transformer brick somewhere

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@s_ol I wonder if you could charge a capacitor with a squeeze crank like those hand-powered flashlights?

@ndpi @s_ol I don't have any experience with it, but one of the simplest circuits I've seen in this area is called a Joule Thief. It's often used to let low/expired batteries continue to power smaller devices.

I don't think this circuit will be all you need. You still need to supply it with a power source. But, it might be a component in a larger system design, in that the power source you end up using might not have to be so powerful.

Just an idea, or maybe something to help get you started.

@vertigo @ndpi
Don't see a reason why that wouldn't work. I think it would be extra cool to use physical energy storage though, but that probably is incompatible with harvesting/charging

@vertigo @ndpi
(a person can pull up a weight again, but you probably can't pull up a weight with a very low voltage coming off a small solar panel, even if extremely slowly)

@s_ol@merveilles.town @vertigo@hackers.town @ndpi@merveilles.town there's been some research into power over wifi and unpowered signal reflection devices that can send wifi packets recently. might be an option for a wifi remote.

@s_ol The new Sony remote uses RF harvesting to charge from your Wi-Fi signals, and also has a solar panel: theverge.com/2022/1/2/22860390

What's even better is going batteryless, with hybrid or supercapacitors, see e.g. tindie.com/products/jaspersikk

Thanks for the links! The solar harvesting board looks interesting, and it's very nice to have some real world reference numbers published there as well.

Battery less is definitely the goal, I wonder though if LI-caps are any better environmentally?

@s_ol Definitely better environmentally than Li-Ion batteries, but I would love to see a comparison with other storage technologies.

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