Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Sylvia Thomas, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Frank Pyrtle, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Henry Cabra, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ismail Uysal, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nasir Ghani, Ph.D.


DC-DC converter, mini notched turbine, MPPT, power efficiency, resistor emulation, RF rectenna, PSO


The great innovations of the last century have ushered continuous progress in many areas of technology, especially in the form of miniaturization of electronic circuits. This progress shows a trend towards consistent decreases in power requirements due to miniaturization. According to the ITRS and industry leaders, such as Intel, the challenge of managing and providing power efficiency still persist as scaling down of devices continues. A variety of power sources can be used in order to provide power to low power applications. Few of these sources have favorable characteristics and can be designed to deliver maximum power such as the novel mini notched turbine used as a source in this work. The MiNT is a novel device that can be used as a feasible energy source when integrated into a system and evaluated for power delivery as investigated in this work. As part of this system, a maximum power point tracking system provides an applicable solution for capturing enhanced power delivery for an energy harvesting system. However, power efficiency and physical size are adversely affected by the characteristics and environment of many energy harvesting systems and must also be addressed. To address these issues, an analysis of mini notched turbine, a RF rectenna, and an enhanced maximum power point tracking system is presented and verified using simulations and measurements. Furthermore, mini notched energy harvesting system, RF rectenna energy harvesting system, and enhanced maximum power point tracking system are developed and experimental data analyzed. The enhanced maximum power point tracking system uses a resistor emulation technique and particle swarm optimization (PSO) to improve the power efficiency and reduce the physical size.

This new innovative design improves the efficiency of optimized power management circuitry up to 7% compared to conventional power management circuits over a wide range of input power and range of emulated resistances, allowing more power to be harvested from small energy harvesting sources and delivering it to the load such as smart sensors. In addition, this is the first IC design to be implemented and tested for the patented mini notched turbine (MiNT) energy harvesting device.

Another advantage of the enhanced power management system designed in this work is that the proposed approach can be utilized for extremely small energy sources and because of that the proposed work is valid for low emulated resistances. and systems with low load resistance Overall, through the successful completion of this work, various energy harvesting systems can have the ability to provide enhanced power management as the IC industry continues to progress toward miniaturization of devices and systems.