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Towards a Self-Tunable, Wide Frequency Bandwidth Vibration Energy Harvesting Device

[+] Author Affiliations
Vinod R. Challa, M. G. Prasad, Frank T. Fisher

Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ

Paper No. IMECE2009-12876, pp. 57-65; 9 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6: Emerging Technologies: Alternative Energy Systems; Energy Systems: Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4379-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Vibration energy harvesting is increasing in popularity due to potential applications such as powering wireless sensors and ultra low power devices. For efficient energy harvesting, matching the device frequency to the source frequency is a major design requirement. Since mechanical vibrations differ in characteristics (frequency and acceleration amplitude), it is difficult to design an individual energy harvesting device for every source. Recently, several groups have pursued techniques to tune the resonance frequency of the vibrating structure through active and passive methods. In this paper, work has been done to attain a self-tunable energy harvesting device, which utilizes a magnetic force resonance frequency tuning technique to tune the device. The device is successfully tuned with in a bandwidth of ± 27% of its untuned resonance frequency, considering root mean square of the peak power output as the cutoff for frequency bandwidth. Since the technique is semi-active, energy is only consumed to tune the resonance frequency and is not required to remain at that specific frequency. The device consists of a piezoelectric cantilever beam array which is displaced to the desired distance to induce magnetic stiffness and to match the source frequency using a DC motor. The device has a power output of approximately 0.7 mW to 1 mW in the designed cutoff frequency range. The amount of energy consumed by the actuator to displace the beam is approximately 3.5 W to 4.5 W, which requires approximately 150 minutes to reclaim the expended energy.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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