Project microMole

Energy Harvesting Solution for Energy-Indendent Flow Measuring System

microMole - Energy Harvesting Solution for Water Management

Motivation of microMole

The threat of synthetic drugs is one of the most significant current drug problems worldwide. Since 1990, Amphetamine-Type Stimulants (ATS) manufacturing has been reported from more than 70 countries worldwide and the figure keeps rising. The aim of the project microMole is to design, develop and test a prototype of a system for legal recording, retrieving and monitoring operations of ATS and ATS precursor laboratories in urban areas. The sensor system will be installed within the sewage system and will track waste associated to ATS production.


Main Contents and Aims of the EU Project

  • Miniaturized system for 200 mm sewage pipes
  • Robust housing taking prepared for sewage system environment
  • Minimized power consumption, enhanced operation time supported by energy harvesting
  • High-specific electro-chemical sensors
  • Integrated micro-tanks for sample storage
  • Secure GSM and radio communications for remote monitoring
  • Analysis of privacy law, data protection and social acceptance will be carried on

Innovative Technical Features: Thermal Harvesting

A DC-DC converter to step-up the low voltages obtained from the thermoelectric generator (TEG) to the voltage required by the energy storage element will be designed. Moreover, it is necessary to develop a maximum power point tracking (MPPT) technique in order to harvest the maximum power at any temperature gradient. The electrical energy converted will be employed to charge an energy storage element. Therefore, an energy management system able to charge, protect and monitor the battery will be developed for the project.


Essential Elements of the Fraunhofer IIS Technology

  • Bipolar step-up DC-DC converter for TEGs with ultra-low start-up voltage
  • Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) circuit
  • Energy management system


Cooperation with Fraunhofer IZM

Fraunhofer IZM is in charge of the design of the thermal path concept. Moreover, Fraunhofer IZM is responsible for the physical and electrical integration of the microMole system.

Special Features

  • Over 70 % efficiency of the bipolar ASIC step-up DC-DC converter for TEGs
  • Start-up voltage of 35 mV for the bipolar ASIC
  • Perfect matching between TEG and load through MPPT
  • Thermal energy available at the sewage system for energy harvesting
  • Extension of lifetime of the battery
  • Using environmental energy from temperature differences for supplying power
  • Reducing installation and maintenance effort

Possible Application Fields

  • Water and waste management
  • Smart metering
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Smart factory
  • Smart building

microMole is a Joint Effort of 11 Consortium Members

  • Warsaw University of Technology (Poland)
  • Central Forensic Laboratory of the Police (Poland)
  • Federal Criminal Police Office (Germany)
  • Blue Technologies (Poland)
  • CapSenze (Sweden)
  • JGK Tech-Pipeferret (Iceland)
  • Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (Germany)
  • Tilburg University (the Netherlands)
  • Ghent University (Belgium)
  • Universite Claude Bernard (France)
  • Universität der Bundeswehr (Germany)