What is the difference between energy harvesting and energy scavenging? Which is more appropriate when referring to an electronic device getting energy from the environment?
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closed as general reference by Robusto, Matt E. Эллен♦, Will Hunting, aedia λ, FumbleFingers Mar 16 '12 at 17:11
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"harvesting" normally means you have put effort into growing something and you are collecting the results.
"scavenging" means you are just opportunistically collecting what is naturally there.
We used to use the term "energy scavenging" for driving equipement from external small sources of energy, like the 'on hook' voltage on a phone line or parasitic pickup from an AC mains cable.
The noun form of the electronic device that takes the energy from the sun or other source, however, is called a scavenger.