Broad-Range Energy Collection and Harvesting

Period of Performance: 05/01/2013 - 04/30/2015


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Physical Optics Corp.
1845 West 205th Street Array
Torrance, CA 90501
Principal Investigator


To address the Army s need for a lightweight battery charger and storage unit (BCSU), capable of continuous conversion of radiative environmental energy into usable direct current (DC), to recharge Soldiers batteries, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) has developed the Broad-Range Energy Collection and Harvesting (BRECH) technology, based on the integration of wide-wavelength-range absorber made as arrays of dielectric rod antennas (DRAs) and a thermoelectric ionic power converter, which converts power even with a small temperature difference. In Phase I, POC demonstrated the feasibility of BRECH technology by investigating commercial material performance; development, fabrication, and tests of BRECH prototypes that demonstrated a converted power density of ~380 mW/cm^2 and a Seebeck coefficient >4 mV/K, which allowed a projected efficiency near 10% at the temperature range from 20 degrees C to 100 degrees C, and 20 W of electric power output at the harvested power density of ~270 W/m^2. In Phase II POC plans to develop and fabricate a portable BCSU that will be sufficiently mature for technical and operational testing, limited field-testing, demonstration, and display; demonstrate 20 W of continuous harvested power output over a 10-hour period under all environmental conditions in the field; and characterize BCSU efficiency at AM1.5.