Design, Modelling, and Fabrication of a Low Frequency Piezoelectromagnetic Energy Harvester
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The growing demand for electricity has put enormous pressure on the current power grid infrastructure and has caused several major blackouts over the past few decades. As a result, there has been a shift towards a modernized “Smart Grid” which uses sensors and wireless communications technology to detect and quickly react to local changes in power usage. Recent advancements in low-power electronics have created opportunities for wireless sensor nodes which typically use batteries as their power supply and only have a lifespan of a few years. The cost to replace the vast amount of batteries can be immense. This paper details a power solution for Smart Grid applications to replace batteries by harvesting energy from current-carrying wires. A MEMS piezoelectromagnetic energy harvester has been fabricated through screen-printing of PZT on a stainless steel substrate with a centrally-supported meandering geometry. The energy harvesting device was modelled using COMSOL and validated against experimental results. The design goals of a suitable footprint for microelectronic applications and a resonant frequency of 60 Hz were also achieved. The proposed geometry reduced the presence of torsion in the fundamental mode and increased the efficiency of the harvester. The harvester was able to produce 9 μW from a wire carrying 7 Amps at a distance of approximately 6.5 mm. This work resulted in a greater normalized power density than other MEMS based piezoelectromagnetic devices and shows great potential relative to larger devices using bulk piezoelectrics.
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Egon Fernandes (2017). Design, Modelling, and Fabrication of a Low Frequency Piezoelectromagnetic Energy Harvester. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12313