Batteryless energy harvester

Running electronics on body heat

This technology directly addresses today’s energy challenge by generating clean energy in a highly distributed manner.

Anantha Chandrakasan

MIT researchers have demonstrated a wearable power generator that uses the difference in temperature between your skin and the surrounding air – even just a couple of degrees – to produce a small, steady flow of power to run your medical monitor or your Bluetooth® headset. No need for a battery.

In the wearable power generator, a commercially available “thermal harvester” turns the temperature difference into electricity, but the generated voltage and current are tiny. The MIT solution: a novel “interface circuit” that boosts that tiny voltage to a useful level, keeps it constant despite temperature changes, and delivers the highest-ever fraction of the power from the harvester to the device.

This research was supported in part by the MIT Energy Initiative Seed Fund



Anantha Chandrakasan Dean of the School of Engineering

Electrical Engineering & Computer Science