Introducing Energy Harvesting Zigbee Devices (not green power)

Hello, I am a long time Smartthings users. I am now running my home in a mix of Smartthings and other hubs.

I am also a maker. I made Zigbee Environment Sensor which have been used by many member here.

I am now making a couple new devices that take advantage alternative energy. The goal is to minimize our dependency on battery. In my personal experience, once I have a lot of battery powered devices the effort of maintaining them is mentally exhausting. Because of this, I turn to my hobby and take small steps to make devices that uses Energy harvesting as its power.

Don’t get me wrong. The devices that I am making is still using battery due to power requirement in certain state. However, with energy harvesting, I am aiming to have battery life that is in order somewhere 10+ years versus typical 6 to 24 month battery life for Zigbee devices.

In one case, I am able to replace the power by energy harvesting. The battery is needed for a backup only. Here is the first device that I make. It is an Fireplace smart controller.

Another device that I make is a gas stove sensor. This is an example where the battery is the primary source. As the sensor detect the use of the gas stove, It is also harvest the energy. It is a little bit different strategy of taking advantage the harvested energy from the fireplace controller. The energy harvested can be used to add more functionality.

I apologize if you notice that in some of the short video that you are not seeing our beloved hub. During the development, I tested the devices with Smartthings hub. I do not want to trigger “hub versus hub” discussion. I want to mentioned that the devices are Zigbee 3.0 compatibles which allow the device to work with many HA hubs.

At this point, I just want to introduce them to the community. Some may have said that I have been mostly missing from ST community. I am now back. I plan to make it available to the community member in the future like my Environment Sensor.

At last, I would like to take this time to thank everyone here for their support on my Environment Sensor project. Especially, I would love to thank everyone who purchases them. The proceed allow me to make new devices like these new devices. It has been fun learning experience for me. I hope using the energy harvesting for our devices would help all of us to take the first leap in making the next generation devices.

Thanks
Iman

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Smartthings has not included the “green power“ clusters from zigbee 3.0 that are needed for energy harvesting Devices. Such as the hue tap or runlesswire switches. So even though the devices are zigbee 3.0, they won’t work with any of the current smartthings or WASH hubs.

Maybe sometime in the future, but for now, it’s pretty confusing for this forum.

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@JDRoberts, thanks for the update. The devices that I make are not Green Power devices. They are normal Zigbee switch and IAS devices.

I am 100% agree with you in regard of green power devices.

In this project, I use a very good MCU from Nordic Semicondutor. The power generated from the energy harvester enough to power the MCU running a full Zigbee Sleepy end device.

Thanks
Iman

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'm glad to see some work on energy harvesting devices for ST/ Zigbee. I initially looked for some of these types of devices as well as commercial controls have an energy harvesting protocol (Enocean) and related devices that minimize the need for battery replacements and wiring. Seems like a big product gap for switches, sensors, etc. But looks like ST needs to add the green power cluster as well.

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Thanks for the feedback @homeagain. I understand the excitement around Zigbee Green Power. I am also in the bandwagon. But, Zigbee green power (and what Enocean is doing) is different beast. We are talking a very extremely low energy harvesting in those cases.

With the devices above, my interest is to explore energy harvesting and combine it with highly efficient MCU to make full fledge Zigbee devices. These devices are readily supported with current generation hubs as is.

In this context, the energy harvesting is used as auxiliary power source to enhance device functionality. At this point, all the devices that I make has multiple power sources. If it is a car, it is more of a hybrid car. I have not seen too many makers interested on exploring the possibility. I played around with heat generated power. There are also indoor light, vibration and water flow energy which can be harvested. They may not be powerful enough to be the primary power source. But, they can harness energy to enhance our battery life exponentially.

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Love the sound of this. Great ideas :+1:t2:

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