II-VI Marlow Blog

Improve Energy Efficiency with II-VI Energy Harvesting Technology

This entry was posted in Energy Harvesting and Energy Efficiency on July 08, 2016 by II-VI Marlow Industries

Replacing batteries is the bane of my existence.

They always seem to go dead right when I’m comfortably settled on my couch, or leave me stranded in an empty parking lot on the way home from work. The right size of batteries is never available when I need it. So, if I ever catch that dumb little Energizer bunny beating a drum … well, you get the point.

In the industrial world of advanced wireless sensor networks, this same headache is played out every day, except the stakes are higher. Not only can battery failures be an inconvenience, but production stops, replacement costs, and lost revenue all eat into business profits.

Fortunately, Marlow has developed a thermoelectric solution called the EverGen PowerStrap for industrial pipelines.

Energy Harvesting Improves Energy Efficiency

This product is an easily installed, non-invasive energy harvesting power source that converts heat into electrical energy, perpetually. If you’re responsible for maintaining communication equipment and sensors (pressure, temperature, flow, etc…) on oil pipelines, steam pipelines or other warm process pipes, the Marlow EverGen PowerStrap can make your job dramatically easier. 

Designed to replace batteries completely for 20+ years of continuous operation, the energy harvester is comparable in cost, but scalable for greater storage capacity.

The system works by using solid-state (meaning, no moving parts) thermoelectric generators to convert thermal energy from the pipes into useful electricity. This electrical energy is then passed through power conditioning circuitry and stored in super capacitors until your wireless sensor network equipment consumes it.

All you have to do is tighten the strap around your process pipe with a single bolt, insert the power module into your wireless sensor, and you now have a power source that will truly be “still going” for years.

EverGen PowerStraps can be designed for a range of power requirements. Check out the graph below for typical performance for wireless sensor applications.


Energy Harvesting as a Complementary Power Source

Let’s face it, solar panels are great as long as the sun is shining, but process production goes on, rain or shine. Not only can the EverGen PowerStrap be used as a battery replacement power source, but it can also be used to augment power from solar panels. For applications where solar performance is marginal, the EverGen PowerStrap+ serves as a complementary power source.

Some applications we have experience in addressing are SCADA systems and ultrasonic flow meters in remote northern locations. These climates are dominated by overcast days, long nights, and cold winters, requiring higher power requirements than wireless sensor networks. However, if you have the correct pipe temperatures and ambient conditions, Marlow can help. The graph below shows how the combination of the EverGen PowerStrap and solar panels, working together, provided a consistent power output throughout the year for a flowmeter application in Alaska.


If you would are interested in implementing this technology, our EverGen Powerstrap Whitepaper describes its performance in greater detail. Read it and give us a call. We would be happy to help you take the headache out of using batteries.

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