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Resonant Vibrational Energy Harvesting: In Search of Low Frequency, Improved Efficiency, and Wideband Operation

Prof. Carol Livermore
MIT & Northeastern University, USA

Vibrational energy harvesting offers a means of powering systems that are too remote or too inaccessible to be powered by batteries or line power.  Resonant harvesting of vibrations is the method of choice for maximizing the power extracted from small amplitude vibrations, but it faces several key challenges.  One challenge is the necessity for the vibrational frequency to match the resonant frequency of the harvester; time-varying vibrational frequencies or drift of the resonance can bring the harvester off of resonance, causing the output power to plummet.  A second challenge is operation at low frequencies that are compatible with human-scale motions; low frequencies typically require increased harvester size.  This talk presents a set of energy harvesting solutions that are designed to address these challenges.  The first is a frequency self-tuning energy harvester for rotational applications, and the second is an impact-driven approach to compact, low frequency vibrational harvesting.  The third system combines frequency self-tuning with impact-driven operation to create a more power-dense, wideband, compact solution for rotational systems. 

 

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