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Anchorless Design of Electromagnetic Vibration Energy Harvester for Railroad

[+] Author Affiliations
Teng Lin

Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

Lirong Wang, Lei Zuo

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Paper No. DSCC2015-9940, pp. V002T22A006; 6 pages
  • ASME 2015 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference
  • Volume 2: Diagnostics and Detection; Drilling; Dynamics and Control of Wind Energy Systems; Energy Harvesting; Estimation and Identification; Flexible and Smart Structure Control; Fuels Cells/Energy Storage; Human Robot Interaction; HVAC Building Energy Management; Industrial Applications; Intelligent Transportation Systems; Manufacturing; Mechatronics; Modelling and Validation; Motion and Vibration Control Applications
  • Columbus, Ohio, USA, October 28–30, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5725-0
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


An electromagnetic energy harvester features anchorless mounting is designed and analyzed. It can harness electrical energy from railroad track deflections induced by passing trains. Anchorless mounting is designed to be easily installed on railroad sleepers without any change to the original foundation, it utilize a spring reset mechanism to capture track motion. This structure eliminates the need of anchoring on the railroad and further reduces any potential risk to change the railroad construction. An energy harvesting mechanism named mechanical motion rectifier (MMR) is created to overcome challenge in harnessing energy from the high pulse-like impact and to transform bidirectional linear vibration into unidirectional rotational motion at high efficiency. Dynamic modeling of MMR and harvester are developed to reveal the working principle and verify overall design. The harvester is targeting at powering major track-side accessories or to be used as back-up power source to enhance track operational safety.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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