Via CNET’s Green Tech blog, we bring you a video about some nifty power conversion technology for photovoltaic applications that Freescale Semiconductor
unveiled this week at the Applied Power Electronics Conference and
Exposition. This is about high efficiency, ultra-low-voltage DC-to-DC
converter technology. It enables IC startup thresholds to be reduced to
0.32 V (ICs typically can’t start up at less than 0.7 V) and
efficiencies of nearly 90 percent. This method would allow new system
design options and the ability to recover energy at ultra-low voltages,
e.g., single-cell solar power systems and other energy-harvesting
applications, such as thermoelectric and mechanical scavenging systems.

Freescale says applications can include solar-powered battery
chargers, trickle chargers for automotive systems, chargers for cell
phones and laptops, remote data acquisition and industrial HVAC
systems, PV-based traffic signals, solar-powered home and commercial
lighting products, and self-powered wireless transponders.