Making Science Fiction a Reality: Energy Harvesting & Power Electronics Enable the IoT Revolution


Brian Zahnstecher, Power Sources Manufacturers Association


Energy harvesting and integrated power electronics are no longer a lab experiment
nor producing negligible amounts of usable power. The many forms of energy harvesting at our disposal turns just about any environment or application‐case into an energy recycling opportunity. From a transducer in every form of energy conversion to the ICs required to utilize them, there is a wide assortment of options already in high‐volume production supported by some of the largest players in the industry. Even more impressive are the solutions designed to concurrently accept multiple forms of energy harvesting so energy storage and utilization profiles can be optimized to operate in totally different environments. Power can make or break your electronics and wearables/IoT are no exception. Only a major focus on reducing power consumption, while also maximizing available power sources will make it possible to power the billions of devices that are predicted to dominate our everyday life. In particular, energy harvesting technologies are a reality today that will free us from batteries, recharges and enable the amazing solutions of our dreams.

BZ-Headshot-USE-SMALL-(7-12-16)Brian Zahnstecher is a Sr. Member of the IEEE, Chair of the IEEE SF Bay Area Power Electronics Society (PELS), and the Principal of PowerRox, where he focuses on power design, integration, system applications, and OEM market penetration, and private seminars for power electronics. He has successfully handled assignments in system design/architecting, AC/DC front-end power, embedded solutions, processor power, and digital power solutions for a variety of clients. He previously held positions in power electronics with industry leaders Emerson Network Power, Cisco, and Hewlett-Packard, where he advised on best practices, oversaw product development, managed international teams, created/enhanced optimal workflows and test procedures, and designed and optimized voltage regulators. He has been a regular contributor to the industry as an invited speaker, author, workshop participant, session host, roundtable moderator, and volunteer. He has over 12 years of industry experience and holds Master of Engineering and Bachelor of Science degrees from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

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