SEPTET: Sustainable Energy Pathways Through Education and Technology (NSF - PI Lavrova)

The National Science Foundation has recently awarded a $1.7M grant to seven researchers the University of New Mexico to conduct research on a project titled: "SEPTET: Sustainable Energy Pathways Through Education and Technology". The project will combine the concept of harvesting electricity from multiple sources of renewable energy in a highly optimized manner, starting with fundamental research in photo- and thermovoltaic materials, and progressing to electrical systems level, where energy harvesters can lead to significant transformation of electrical infrastructure towards a more sustainable one. A multitude of ambient RF sources exist at different frequencies that are constantly radiating power in all directions creating a rich scattering environment that can be harvested as an energy source. SEPTET's goal will be to use this ambient RF energy, along with solar energy, and convert it into DC (direct current) power that can be used with a battery or feed power into existing electrical infrastructure. SEPTET's even broader goal is to suggest the entire new social behavior towards the energy usage, through using of artistic visualizations, 3D animations, new apps for smart phones as well as apps for entire buildings.

solar energy

Figure 3.1: Monolithic energy harvester device, combining solar PV, TPV, RF and vibration energy harvesting.

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