Improved Energy Harvesting Technologies Boost Efficiency in Buildings, Finds Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan
2012-07-10 19:00 1283

Mass adoption is delayed as more R&D is needed to establish a total solution

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Heating, cooling and lighting are the main energy expenditures in buildings today. A building automation system (BAS), which is powered by batteries, can assist in reducing and optimizing these energy expenses, while maintaining a comfortable environment for occupants.  The key in making a BAS function in terms of relaying data related to temperature, occupancy, wind flow, light intensity, and so on, are wireless sensor networks (WSNs).  A drawback for WSNs is the dependence on batteries, which have severe limitations with respect to life span and maintenance, among other shortfalls. Energy harvesters (EHs) significantly improve battery life, thereby reducing maintenance and disposal costs.

Analysis from Frost & Sullivan's( Advances in Energy Harvesting Technologies for Building Automation research finds that progression in EH technology has enabled BASs to be more independent and flexible to identify and address energy wastage from buildings.  This is provided through EHs' ability to scavenge ambient energy, including solar power as well as thermal, kinetic and electrical energy, allowing EHs to resupply power regularly. From this enhanced energy reservoir, WSNs are enabled to have additional features and options for end-users.  Additionally, the energy efficiency of EHs allow WSNs to be placed anywhere in a building, with minimal overhead.  This eco-friendly technology aligns well with popular green initiatives currently being implemented.

If you are interested in more information on this research, please send an email to Britni Myers, Corporate Communications, at, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company email address, company Web site, city, state and country.

Universities are at the forefront of exploring techniques and designs to reduce the EH footprint and increase the power density factor.  Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) initiatives have also caused a huge impact in bringing together market actors to deploy products with interoperability and ease of implementation for the end-user.  Alliances have played a vital role in collaborating and bringing together the different manufacturers under one umbrella; however, more collaboration is needed at the university level.

"Reducing the energy consumption of EHs has not affected the performance of the device," said Technical Insights Industry Analyst Saju John Mathew.  "Rather, the unique microstructuring design and dense packing has increased the power density several fold. This enables the EH to be physically integrated with different custom designed WSN applications."

However, ambient EHs are currently limited in that each application requires a specific technology. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, as EHs still have not reached a broadband platform—they are very much tuned to the requirement of the actual application. Additionally, the lack of a total solution delays mass adoption, so component manufacturers and OEMs need to further integrate EH devices to offer a complete solution.

"Hybrid EH devices can power ultra-low-power electronics," said Mathew.  "Building from this amalgam design would enable EH devices to scale a major hurdle to move closer to a nonspecific solution."

Advances in Energy Harvesting Technologies for Building Automation is part of the Technical Insights subscription, which also includes Top Technologies in Microelectronics; Clean and Greentech in China: Funding Analysis; Renewable Energy for Residential and Commercial Applications; and Technology Developments in Offshore Wind Industry: Technology Market Penetration and Roadmapping.  All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.  Interviews are available to the press.

About Frost & Sullivan   

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today's market participants. 

Our "Growth Partnership" supports clients by addressing these opportunities and incorporating two key elements driving visionary innovation: The Integrated Value Proposition and The Partnership Infrastructure.

  • The Integrated Value Proposition provides support to our clients throughout all phases of their journey to visionary innovation including: research, analysis, strategy, vision, innovation and implementation.  
  • The Partnership Infrastructure is entirely unique as it constructs the foundation upon which visionary innovation becomes possible.  This includes our 360 degree research, comprehensive industry coverage, career best practices as well as our global footprint of more than 40 offices.  

For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies?  

Contact Us:     Start the discussion

Join Us:        Join our community

Subscribe:      Newsletter on "the next big thing" 

Register:       Gain access to visionary innovation

Advances in Energy Harvesting Technologies for Building Automation D2D1


Britni Myers
Corporate Communications – North America
P: +1-210-477-8481
F: +1-210-348-1003

Source: Frost & Sullivan