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Proceedings Paper

Experimental verification and optimization of a linear electromagnetic energy harvesting device
Author(s): Christopher Mullen; Soobum Lee
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Paper Abstract

Implementation of energy harvesting technology can provide a sustainable, remote power source for soldiers by reducing the battery weight and allowing them to stay in the field for longer periods of time. Among multiple energy conversion principles, electromagnetic induction can scavenge energy from wasted kinematic and vibration energy found from human motion. Hip displacement during human gait acts as a base excitation for an energy harvesting backpack system. The placement of a permanent magnet in this vibration environment results in relative motion of the magnet to the coil of copper wire, which induces an electric current. This current can be saved to a battery or capacitor bank installed on the backpack to be used to power electronic devices. The purpose of this research is to construct a reliable simulation model for an electromagnetic vibration energy harvester and use it for a multi-variable optimization algorithm to identify an optimal coil and magnet layout for highest power output. Key components of the coupled equations of motion such as the magnetic flux density and coil inductance are obtained using ANSYS multi-physics software or by measuring them. These components are fed into a harvester simulation model (e.g. coupled field equations of motion for the backpack harvester) that generates the electrical power output. The developed simulation model is verified with a case study including an experimental test. Then the optimal design parameters in the simulation model (e.g., magnet layout, coil width, outer coil diameter, external load resistance) are identified for maximum power. Results from this study will pave the way for a more efficient energy harvesting backpack while providing better insight into the efficiency of magnet and coil layout for electromagnetic applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 April 2017
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 10171, Smart Materials and Nondestructive Evaluation for Energy Systems 2017, 1017103 (19 April 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2260186
Show Author Affiliations
Christopher Mullen, Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County (United States)
Soobum Lee, Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10171:
Smart Materials and Nondestructive Evaluation for Energy Systems 2017
Norbert G. Meyendorf, Editor(s)

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