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Design of a Thermally Activated Energy Harvesting System

[+] Author Affiliations
Zachary Toom, D. Dane Quinn

The University of Akron, Akron, OH

Paper No. DETC2014-35081, pp. V007T05A013; 6 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 2nd Biennial International Conference on Dynamics for Design; 26th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4640-7
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


The design optimization of a thermally activated energy harvesting system is considered here. Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) components are used to transform the thermal excitation to mechanical vibrations, which harvested through electromechanical coupling into storable electrical energy. The frequency of the mechanical vibrations is subject to up-conversion through the use of bi-stable mechanical system, modeled as a buckled beam. As the SMA undergoes low-frequency thermal oscillations, the bi-stable mechanical system undergoes a snap-through response, so that the energy harvesting attachment exhibits a vibration frequency much higher than the underlying thermal vibrations, leading to an increase in the time-averaged power that can be harvested from the system. Through design optimization studies the system characteristics are chosen to maximize the average harvested power from this system.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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