A 60mV-3V Wide-Input-Voltage-Range Boost Converter with Amplitude-Regulated Oscillator for Energy Harvesting

Hiroyuki NAKAMOTO  Hong GAO  Hiroshi YAMAZAKI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E99-A   No.12   pp.2483-2490
Publication Date: 2016/12/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1337
DOI: 10.1587/transfun.E99.A.2483
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on VLSI Design and CAD Algorithms)
low-input voltage,  thermoelectric generator,  boost converter,  oscillator,  amplitude regulation,  

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This paper presents a wide-input-voltage-range and high-efficiency boost converter that is assisted by a transformer-based oscillator. The oscillator can provide a sufficient amount of power to drive a following switched-inductor boost converter at low voltages. Moreover, it adopts a novel amplitude-regulation circuit (ARC) without using high power-consuming protective devices to suppress the expansion of the oscillation amplitude at high input voltages. Therefore, it can avoid over-voltage problems without sacrificing the power efficiency. Additionally, a power-down circuit (PDC) is implemented to turn off the oscillator, when the boost converter can be driven by its own output power, thus, eliminating the power consumption by the oscillator and improving the power efficiency. We implemented the ARC and the PDC with discrete components rather than one-chip integration for the proof of concept. The experimental results showed that the proposed circuit became possible to operate from an input voltage of 60mV to 3V while maintaining high peak efficiency up to 92%. To the best of our knowledge, this converter provides a wider input range in comparison with the previously-published converters. We are convinced that the proposed approach by inserting an appropriate start-up circuit in a commercial converter will be effective for rapid design proposals in order to respond promptly to customer needs as Internet of things (IoT) devices with energy harvester.