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Segment-Type Energy Harvester Powering Wireless Sensor for Building Automation

[+] Author Affiliations
Soobum Lee, Byeng D. Youn, Byungchang Jung

University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, MD

Paper No. DETC2009-87436, pp. 495-504; 10 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 1: 22nd Biennial Conference on Mechanical Vibration and Noise, Parts A and B
  • San Diego, California, USA, August 30–September 2, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4898-2 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3856-3
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


This paper presents an innovative design platform of piezoelectric energy harvester (EH), named segment-type EH, and its application to a wireless sensor. Energy harvesting technology is motivated to minimize battery replacement cost for wireless sensors, which aims at developing self-powered sensors by utilizing ambient energy sources. Vibration energy is one of widely available ambient energy sources which can be converted into electrical energy using a piezoelectric material. The current state-of-the-art in piezoelectric EH technology mainly utilizes a single natural frequency which is less effective when utilizing a random ambient vibration with multimodal frequencies. This research thus proposes the segment-type harvester to generate electric power efficiently which utilizes multiple modes by separating the piezoelectric material. In order to reflect the random nature of ambient vibration energy, a stochastic design optimization is solved to determine the optimal configuration in terms of energy efficiency and durability. A prototype is manufactured and mounted on a heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) system to operate a temperature wireless sensor. It shows its excellent performance to generate sufficient power for a real time temperature monitoring for building automation.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME
Topics: Sensors



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