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Sample records for solar energy harvest

  1. Plasmonic Enhancement Mechanisms in Solar Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cushing, Scott K.

    Semiconductor photovoltaics (solar-to-electrical) and photocatalysis (solar-to-chemical) requires sunlight to be converted into excited charge carriers with sufficient lifetimes and mobility to drive a current or photoreaction. Thin semiconductor films are necessary to reduce the charge recombination and mobility losses, but thin films also limit light absorption, reducing the solar energy conversion efficiency. Further, in photocatalysis, the band edges of semiconductor must straddle the redox potentials of a photochemical reaction, reducing light absorption to half the solar spectrum in water splitting. Plasmonics transforms metal nanoparticles into antennas with resonances tuneable across the solar spectrum. If energy can be transferred from the plasmon to the semiconductor, light absorption in the semiconductor can be increased in thin films and occur at energies smaller than the band gap. This thesis investigates why, despite this potential, plasmonic solar energy harvesting techniques rarely appear in top performing solar architectures. To accomplish this goal, the possible plasmonic enhancement mechanisms for solar energy conversion were identified, isolated, and optimized by combining systematic sample design with transient absorption spectroscopy, photoelectrochemical and photocatalytic testing, and theoretical development. Specifically, metal semiconductor nanostructures were designed to modulate the plasmon's scattering, hot carrier, and near field interactions as well as remove heating and self-catalysis effects. Transient absorption spectroscopy then revealed how the structure design affected energy and charge carrier transfer between metal and semiconductor. Correlating this data with wavelength-dependent photoconversion efficiencies and theoretical developments regarding metal-semiconductor interactions identified the origin of the plasmonic enhancement. Using this methodology, it has first been proven that three plasmonic enhancement routes are

  2. Plasmonic Enhancement Mechanisms in Solar Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cushing, Scott K.

    Semiconductor photovoltaics (solar-to-electrical) and photocatalysis (solar-to-chemical) requires sunlight to be converted into excited charge carriers with sufficient lifetimes and mobility to drive a current or photoreaction. Thin semiconductor films are necessary to reduce the charge recombination and mobility losses, but thin films also limit light absorption, reducing the solar energy conversion efficiency. Further, in photocatalysis, the band edges of semiconductor must straddle the redox potentials of a photochemical reaction, reducing light absorption to half the solar spectrum in water splitting. Plasmonics transforms metal nanoparticles into antennas with resonances tuneable across the solar spectrum. If energy can be transferred from the plasmon to the semiconductor, light absorption in the semiconductor can be increased in thin films and occur at energies smaller than the band gap. This thesis investigates why, despite this potential, plasmonic solar energy harvesting techniques rarely appear in top performing solar architectures. To accomplish this goal, the possible plasmonic enhancement mechanisms for solar energy conversion were identified, isolated, and optimized by combining systematic sample design with transient absorption spectroscopy, photoelectrochemical and photocatalytic testing, and theoretical development. Specifically, metal semiconductor nanostructures were designed to modulate the plasmon's scattering, hot carrier, and near field interactions as well as remove heating and self-catalysis effects. Transient absorption spectroscopy then revealed how the structure design affected energy and charge carrier transfer between metal and semiconductor. Correlating this data with wavelength-dependent photoconversion efficiencies and theoretical developments regarding metal-semiconductor interactions identified the origin of the plasmonic enhancement. Using this methodology, it has first been proven that three plasmonic enhancement routes are

  3. Solar Energy: Progress and Design Concerns of Nanostructured Solar Energy Harvesting Devices (Small 19/2016).

    PubMed

    Leung, Siu-Fung; Zhang, Qianpeng; Tavakoli, Mohammad Mahdi; He, Jin; Mo, Xiaoliang; Fan, Zhiyong

    2016-05-01

    Nanoengineered materials and structures can harvest light efficiently for photovoltaic applications. Device structure design optimization and material property improvement are equally important for high performance. On page 2536, X. Mo, Z. Fan, and co-workers summarize the design guidelines of solar energy harvesting devices to assist with a better understanding of device physics. PMID:27167321

  4. Solar Energy: Progress and Design Concerns of Nanostructured Solar Energy Harvesting Devices (Small 19/2016).

    PubMed

    Leung, Siu-Fung; Zhang, Qianpeng; Tavakoli, Mohammad Mahdi; He, Jin; Mo, Xiaoliang; Fan, Zhiyong

    2016-05-01

    Nanoengineered materials and structures can harvest light efficiently for photovoltaic applications. Device structure design optimization and material property improvement are equally important for high performance. On page 2536, X. Mo, Z. Fan, and co-workers summarize the design guidelines of solar energy harvesting devices to assist with a better understanding of device physics.

  5. Progress and Design Concerns of Nanostructured Solar Energy Harvesting Devices.

    PubMed

    Leung, Siu-Fung; Zhang, Qianpeng; Tavakoli, Mohammad Mahdi; He, Jin; Mo, Xiaoliang; Fan, Zhiyong

    2016-05-01

    Integrating devices with nanostructures is considered a promising strategy to improve the performance of solar energy harvesting devices such as photovoltaic (PV) devices and photo-electrochemical (PEC) solar water splitting devices. Extensive efforts have been exerted to improve the power conversion efficiencies (PCE) of such devices by utilizing novel nanostructures to revolutionize device structural designs. The thicknesses of light absorber and material consumption can be substantially reduced because of light trapping with nanostructures. Meanwhile, the utilization of nanostructures can also result in more effective carrier collection by shortening the photogenerated carrier collection path length. Nevertheless, performance optimization of nanostructured solar energy harvesting devices requires a rational design of various aspects of the nanostructures, such as their shape, aspect ratio, periodicity, etc. Without this, the utilization of nanostructures can lead to compromised device performance as the incorporation of these structures can result in defects and additional carrier recombination. The design guidelines of solar energy harvesting devices are summarized, including thin film non-uniformity on nanostructures, surface recombination, parasitic absorption, and the importance of uniform distribution of photo-generated carriers. A systematic view of the design concerns will assist better understanding of device physics and benefit the fabrication of high performance devices in the future.

  6. Flexible hybrid energy cell for simultaneously harvesting thermal, mechanical, and solar energies.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ya; Zhang, Hulin; Zhu, Guang; Lee, Sangmin; Lin, Zong-Hong; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2013-01-22

    We report the first flexible hybrid energy cell that is capable of simultaneously or individually harvesting thermal, mechanical, and solar energies to power some electronic devices. For having both the pyroelectric and piezoelectric properties, a polarized poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) film-based nanogenerator (NG) was used to harvest thermal and mechanical energies. Using aligned ZnO nanowire arrays grown on the flexible polyester (PET) substrate, a ZnO-poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) heterojunction solar cell was designed for harvesting solar energy. By integrating the NGs and the solar cells, a hybrid energy cell was fabricated to simultaneously harvest three different types of energies. With the use of a Li-ion battery as the energy storage, the harvested energy can drive four red light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

  7. Flexible hybrid energy cell for simultaneously harvesting thermal, mechanical, and solar energies.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ya; Zhang, Hulin; Zhu, Guang; Lee, Sangmin; Lin, Zong-Hong; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2013-01-22

    We report the first flexible hybrid energy cell that is capable of simultaneously or individually harvesting thermal, mechanical, and solar energies to power some electronic devices. For having both the pyroelectric and piezoelectric properties, a polarized poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) film-based nanogenerator (NG) was used to harvest thermal and mechanical energies. Using aligned ZnO nanowire arrays grown on the flexible polyester (PET) substrate, a ZnO-poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) heterojunction solar cell was designed for harvesting solar energy. By integrating the NGs and the solar cells, a hybrid energy cell was fabricated to simultaneously harvest three different types of energies. With the use of a Li-ion battery as the energy storage, the harvested energy can drive four red light-emitting diodes (LEDs). PMID:23199138

  8. High efficiency nanostructured thin film solar cells for energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welser, Roger E.; Sood, Ashok K.; Lewis, Jay S.; Dhar, Nibir K.; Wijewarnasuriya, Priyalal S.

    2016-05-01

    Thin-film III-V materials are an attractive candidate material for solar energy harvesting devices capable of supplying portable and mobile power in both terrestrial and space environments. Nanostructured quantum well and quantum dot solar cells are being widely investigated as a means of extending infrared absorption and enhancing photovoltaic device performance. In this paper, we will review recent progress on realizing high-voltage InGaAs/GaAs quantum well solar cells that operate at or near the radiative limit of performance. These high-voltage nanostructured device designs provide a pathway to enhance the performance of existing device technologies, and can also be leveraged for next-generation solar cells.

  9. Copper and Zinc Oxide Composite Nanostructures for Solar Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Fei

    Solar energy is a clean and sustainable energy source to counter global environmental issues of rising atmospheric CO2 levels and depletion of natural resources. To extract useful work from solar energy, silicon-based photovoltaic devices are extensively used. The technological maturity and the high quality of silicon (Si) make it a material of choice. However limitations in Si exist, ranging from its indirect band gap to low light absorption coefficient and energy and capital intensive crystal growth schemes. Therefore, alternate materials that are earth-abundant, benign and simpler to process are needed for developing new platforms for solar energy harvesting applications. In this study, we explore oxides of copper (CuO and Cu2O) in a nanowire morphology as alternate energy harvesting materials. CuO has a bandgap of 1.2 eV whereas Cu2O has a bandgap of 2.1 eV making them ideally suited for absorbing solar radiation. First, we develop a method to synthesize vertical, single crystalline CuO and Cu2O nanowires of ~50 microm length and aspect ratios of ~200. CuO nanowire arrays are synthesized by thermal oxidation of Cu foils. Cu2O nanowire arrays are synthesized by thermal reduction of CuO nanowires. Next, surface engineering of these nanowires is achieved using atomic layer deposition (ALD) of ZnO. By depositing 1.4 nm of ZnO, a highly defective surface is produced on the CuO nanowires. These defects are capable of trapping charge as is evident through persistent photoconductivity measurements of ZnO coated CuO nanowires. The same nanowires serve as efficient photocatalysts reducing CO2 to CO with a yield of 1.98 mmol/g-cat/hr. Finally, to develop a robust platform for flexible solar cells, a protocol to transfer vertical CuO nanowires inside flexible polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is demonstrated. Embedded CuO nanowires-ZnO pn junctions show a VOC of 0.4 V and a JSC of 10.4 microA/cm2 under white light illumination of 5.7 mW/cm2. Thus, this research provides broad

  10. Dye-sensitized Solar Cells for Solar Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, M. S.; Deol, Y. S.; Kumar, Manish; Prasad, Narottam; Janu, Yojana

    2011-10-01

    Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) also known as Gratzel cells, have attracted the interests of researchers to a great extent because of its cost effective and easy manufacturing process without involving highly sophisticated lithographic technique and high cost raw materials as usually seen in conventional solar cell. Based on simple photo-electrochemical process, it has got immense potential in converting solar energy to electrical power in remote and desert area where the supply of conventional power is not possible. The overall peak power-production efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells has been reported around 11 percent, so they are best suited to low-density applications and the price-to-performance ratio obtained through these solar cells is superior to others. DSSCs have ability to absorb even diffused sunlight and therefore work in cloudy whether as well without much impact over the efficiency. The present communication deals with a review of our work on DSSCs wherein we have used cost effective natural dyes/pigments as a sensitizer of nc-TiO2 and discussed about various key factors affecting the conversion efficiency of DSSC.

  11. Artificial light-harvesting arrays for solar energy conversion.

    PubMed

    Harriman, Anthony

    2015-07-28

    Solar fuel production, the process whereby an energy-rich substance is produced using electrons provided by water under exposure to sunlight, requires the cooperative accumulation of multiple numbers of photons. Identifying the optimum reagents is a difficult challenge, even without imposing the restriction that these same materials must function as both sensitiser and catalyst. The blockade caused by an inadequate supply of photons at the catalytic sites might be resolved by making use of an artificial light-harvesting array whose sole purpose is to funnel photons of appropriate frequency to the active catalyst, which can now be a dark reagent. Here we consider several types of artificial photon collectors built from fluorescent modules interconnected via electronic energy transfer. Emphasis is placed on the materials aspects and on establishing the basic operating principles.

  12. Integrated Solar-Energy-Harvesting and -Storage Device

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    whitacre, Jay; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Mojarradi, Mohammed; Johnson, Travis; Ryan, Margaret Amy; Bugga, Ratnakumar; West, William; Surampudi, Subbarao; Blosiu, Julian

    2004-01-01

    A modular, integrated, completely solid-state system designed to harvest and store solar energy is under development. Called the power tile, the hybrid device consists of a photovoltaic cell, a battery, a thermoelectric device, and a charge-control circuit that are heterogeneously integrated to maximize specific energy capacity and efficiency. Power tiles could be used in a variety of space and terrestrial environments and would be designed to function with maximum efficiency in the presence of anticipated temperatures, temperature gradients, and cycles of sunlight and shadow. Because they are modular in nature, one could use a single power tile or could construct an array of as many tiles as needed. If multiple tiles are used in an array, the distributed and redundant nature of the charge control and distribution hardware provides an extremely fault-tolerant system. The figure presents a schematic view of the device.

  13. EDITORIAL Solar harvest Solar harvest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demming, Anna

    2010-12-01

    The first observations of the photoelectric effect date back to the early 19th century from work by Alexandre Edmond Becquerel, Heinrich Hertz, Wilhelm Hallwachs and J J Thomson. The theory behind the phenomena was clarified in a seminal paper by Einstein in 1905 and became an archetypical feature of the wave-particle description of light. A different manifestation of quantised electron excitation, whereby electrons are not emitted but excited into the valence band of the material, is what we call the photoconductive effect. As well as providing an extension to theories in fundamental physics, the phenomenon has spawned a field with enormous ramifications in the energy industry through the development of solar cells. Among advances in photovoltaic technology has been the development of organic photovoltaic technology. These devices have many benefits over their inorganic counterparts, such as light-weight, flexible material properties, as well as versatile materials' synthesis and low-cost large-scale production—all highly advantageous for manufacturing. The first organic photovoltaic systems were reported over 50 years ago [1], but the potential of the field has escalated in recent years in terms of efficiency, largely through band offsetting. Since then, great progress has been made in studies for optimising the efficiency of organic solar cells, such as the work by researchers in Germany and the Netherlands, where investigations were made into the percentage composition and annealing effects on composites of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and the fullerene derivative [6,6]-phenyl-C61 butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) [2]. Hybrid devices that aim to exploit the advantages of both inorganic and organic constituents have also proven promising. One example of this is the work reported by researchers in Tunisia and France on a systematic study for optimising the composition morphology of TiO2 nanoparticles in poly(N-vinylcarbazole) (PVK), which also led to insights

  14. How to harvest solar energy with the photosynthetic reaction center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balaeff, Alexander; Reyes, Justin

    Photosynthetic reaction center (PRC) is a protein complex that performs a key step in photosynthesis: the electron-hole separation driven by photon absorbtion. The PRC has a great promise for applications in solar energy harvesting and photosensing. Such applications, however, are hampered by the difficulty in extracting the photogenerated electric charge from the PRC. To that end, it was proposed to attach the PRC to a molecular wire through which the charge could be collected. In order to find the attachment point for the wire that would maximize the rate of charge outflow from the PRC, we performed a computational study of the PRC from the R. virdis bacterium. An ensemble of PRC structures generated by a molecular dynamics simulation was used to calculate the rate of charge transport from the site of initial charge separation to several trial sites on the protein surface. The Pathways model was used to calculate the charge transfer rate in each step of the network of heme co-factors through which the charge transport was presumed to proceed. A simple kinetic model was then used to determine the overall rate of the multistep charge transport. The calculations revealed several candidate sites for the molecular wire attachment, recommended for experimental verification.

  15. Luminescent solar concentrators and all-inorganic nanoparticle solar cells for solar energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sholin, Veronica

    Increasing energy demand and the parallel increase of greenhouse gas emissions are challenging researchers to find new and cleaner energy sources. Solar energy harvesting is arguably the most promising candidate for replacing fossil-fuel power generation. Photovoltaics are the most direct way of collecting solar energy; cost continues to hinder large-scale implementation of photovoltaics, however. Therefore, alternative technologies that will allow the extraction of solar power, while maintaining the overall costs of fabrication, installation, collection, and distribution low, must be explored. This thesis focuses on the fabrication and testing of two types of devices that step up to this challenge: the luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) and all-inorganic nanoparticle solar cells. In these devices I make use of novel materials, semiconducting polymers and inorganic nanoparticles, both of which have lower costs than the crystalline materials used in the fabrication of traditional photovoltaics. Furthermore, the cost of manufacturing LSCs and the nanoparticle solar cells is lower than the manufacturing cost of traditional optics-based concentrators and crystalline solar cells. An LSC is essentially a slab of luminescent material that acts as a planar light pipe. The LSC absorbs incoming photons and channels fluoresced photons toward appropriately located solar cells, which perform the photovoltaic conversion. By covering large areas with relatively inexpensive fluorescing organic dyes or semiconducting polymers, the area of solar cell needed is greatly reduced. Because semiconducting polymers and quantum dots may have small absorption/emission band overlaps, tunable absorption, and longer lifetimes, they are good candidates for LSC fabrication, promising improvement with respect to laser dyes traditionally used to fabricate LSCs. Here the efficiency of LSCs consisting of liquid solutions of semiconducting polymers encased in glass was measured and compared to the

  16. Adaptive Control of the Packet Transmission Period with Solar Energy Harvesting Prediction in Wireless Sensor Networks

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Kideok; Yang, Jihoon; Yoo, Younghwan

    2015-01-01

    A number of research works has studied packet scheduling policies in energy scavenging wireless sensor networks, based on the predicted amount of harvested energy. Most of them aim to achieve energy neutrality, which means that an embedded system can operate perpetually while meeting application requirements. Unlike other renewable energy sources, solar energy has the feature of distinct periodicity in the amount of harvested energy over a day. Using this feature, this paper proposes a packet transmission control policy that can enhance the network performance while keeping sensor nodes alive. Furthermore, this paper suggests a novel solar energy prediction method that exploits the relation between cloudiness and solar radiation. The experimental results and analyses show that the proposed packet transmission policy outperforms others in terms of the deadline miss rate and data throughput. Furthermore, the proposed solar energy prediction method can predict more accurately than others by 6.92%. PMID:25919372

  17. Adaptive control of the packet transmission period with solar energy harvesting prediction in wireless sensor networks.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Kideok; Yang, Jihoon; Yoo, Younghwan

    2015-04-24

    A number of research works has studied packet scheduling policies in energy scavenging wireless sensor networks, based on the predicted amount of harvested energy. Most of them aim to achieve energy neutrality, which means that an embedded system can operate perpetually while meeting application requirements. Unlike other renewable energy sources, solar energy has the feature of distinct periodicity in the amount of harvested energy over a day. Using this feature, this paper proposes a packet transmission control policy that can enhance the network performance while keeping sensor nodes alive. Furthermore, this paper suggests a novel solar energy prediction method that exploits the relation between cloudiness and solar radiation. The experimental results and analyses show that the proposed packet transmission policy outperforms others in terms of the deadline miss rate and data throughput. Furthermore, the proposed solar energy prediction method can predict more accurately than others by 6.92%.

  18. Harvesting UV photons for solar energy conversion applications.

    PubMed

    Wielopolski, Mateusz; Linton, Katharine E; Marszałek, Magdalena; Gulcur, Murat; Bryce, Martin R; Moser, Jacques E

    2014-02-01

    We report the synthesis and characterization of five new donor–π–spacer–acceptor dye molecules with a diphenylamine donor, fluorene–1,2,5-oxadiazole spacers and a range of acceptor/anchor groups (carboxylic acid 1, cyanoacrylic acid 2 and 3, alcohol 4 and cyano 5) to facilitate electron injection from the excited dye into the TiO2 photoanode in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Detailed photophysical studies have probed the dyes' excited state properties and revealed structure–property relationships within the series. Density functional theory (DFT) and time dependent DFT (TDDFT) calculations provide further insights into how the molecular geometry and electronic properties impact on the photovoltaic performance. A special feature of these dyes is that their absorption features are located predominantly in the UV region, which means the dye-sensitized TiO2 is essentially colorless. Nevertheless, DSSCs assembled from 1 and 2 exhibit photovoltaic power conversion efficiencies of η = 1.3 and 2.2%, respectively, which makes the dyes viable candidates for low-power solar cells that need to be transparent and colorless and for applications that require enhanced harvesting of UV photons.

  19. Hybrid energy harvester based on nanopillar solar cells and PVDF nanogenerator.

    PubMed

    Lee, Dae-Yeong; Kim, Hyunjin; Li, Hua-Min; Jang, A-Rang; Lim, Yeong-Dae; Cha, Seung Nam; Park, Young Jun; Kang, Dae Joon; Yoo, Won Jong

    2013-05-01

    A tandem device which integrates a PVDF nanogenerator and silicon (Si) nanopillar solar cell is fabricated. The Si nanopillar solar cell was fabricated using a mask-free plasma etching technique and annealing process. The PVDF nanogenerator was stacked on top of the Si nanopillar solar cell using a spinning method. The optical properties and the device performance of nanowire solar cells have been characterized, and the dependence of device performance versus annealing time or method has been investigated. Furthermore, the PVDF nanogenerator was operated with a 100 dB sound wave and a 0.8 V peak to peak output voltage was generated. This tandem device can successfully harvest energy from both sound vibration and solar light, demonstrating its strong potential as a future ubiquitous energy harvester.

  20. Nanotechnologies for efficient solar and wind energy harvesting and storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eldada, Louay A.

    2010-08-01

    We describe nanotechnologies used to improve the efficient harvest of energy from the Sun and the wind, and the efficient storage of energy in secondary batteries and ultracapacitors, for use in a variety of applications including smart grids, electric vehicles, and portable electronics. We demonstrate high-quality nanostructured copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin films for photovoltaic (PV) applications. The self-assembly of nanoscale p-n junction networks creates n-type networks that act as preferential electron pathways, and p-type networks that act as preferential hole pathways, allowing positive and negative charges to travel to the contacts in physically separated paths, reducing charge recombination. We also describe PV nanotechnologies used to enhance light trapping, photon absorption, charge generation, charge transport, and current collection. Furthermore, we describe nanotechnologies used to improve the efficiency of power-generating wind turbines. These technologies include nanoparticle-containing lubricants that reduce the friction generated from the rotation of the turbines, nanocoatings for de-icing and self-cleaning technologies, and advanced nanocomposites that provide lighter and stronger wind blades. Finally, we describe nanotechnologies used in advanced secondary batteries and ultracapacitors. Nanostructured powder-based and carbon-nanotube-based cathodes and anodes with ultra-high surface areas boost the energy and power densities in secondary batteries, including lithium-ion and sodium-sulfur batteries. Nanostructured carbon materials are also controlled on a molecular level to offer large surface areas for the electrodes of ultracapacitors, allowing to store and supply large bursts of energy needed in some applications.

  1. Photothermally Activated Pyroelectric Polymer Films for Harvesting of Solar Heat with a Hybrid Energy Cell Structure.

    PubMed

    Park, Teahoon; Na, Jongbeom; Kim, Byeonggwan; Kim, Younghoon; Shin, Haijin; Kim, Eunkyoung

    2015-12-22

    Photothermal effects in poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)s (PEDOTs) were explored for pyroelectric conversion. A poled ferroelectric film was coated on both sides with PEDOT via solution casting polymerization of EDOT, to give highly conductive and effective photothermal thin films of PEDOT. The PEDOT films not only provided heat source upon light exposure but worked as electrodes for the output energy from the pyroelectric layer in an energy harvester hybridized with a thermoelectric layer. Compared to a bare thermoelectric system under NIR irradiation, the photothermal-pyro-thermoelectric device showed more than 6 times higher thermoelectric output with the additional pyroelectric output. The photothermally driven pyroelectric harvesting film provided a very fast electric output with a high voltage output (Vout) of 15 V. The pyroelectric effect was significant due to the transparent and high photothermal PEDOT film, which could also work as an electrode. A hybrid energy harvester was assembled to enhance photoconversion efficiency (PCE) of a solar cell with a thermoelectric device operated by the photothermally generated heat. The PCE was increased more than 20% under sunlight irradiation (AM 1.5G) utilizing the transmitted light through the photovoltaic cell as a heat source that was converted into pyroelectric and thermoelectric output simultaneously from the high photothermal PEDOT electrodes. Overall, this work provides a dynamic and static hybrid energy cell to harvest solar energy in full spectral range and thermal energy, to allow solar powered switching of an electrochromic display.

  2. Photothermally Activated Pyroelectric Polymer Films for Harvesting of Solar Heat with a Hybrid Energy Cell Structure.

    PubMed

    Park, Teahoon; Na, Jongbeom; Kim, Byeonggwan; Kim, Younghoon; Shin, Haijin; Kim, Eunkyoung

    2015-12-22

    Photothermal effects in poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)s (PEDOTs) were explored for pyroelectric conversion. A poled ferroelectric film was coated on both sides with PEDOT via solution casting polymerization of EDOT, to give highly conductive and effective photothermal thin films of PEDOT. The PEDOT films not only provided heat source upon light exposure but worked as electrodes for the output energy from the pyroelectric layer in an energy harvester hybridized with a thermoelectric layer. Compared to a bare thermoelectric system under NIR irradiation, the photothermal-pyro-thermoelectric device showed more than 6 times higher thermoelectric output with the additional pyroelectric output. The photothermally driven pyroelectric harvesting film provided a very fast electric output with a high voltage output (Vout) of 15 V. The pyroelectric effect was significant due to the transparent and high photothermal PEDOT film, which could also work as an electrode. A hybrid energy harvester was assembled to enhance photoconversion efficiency (PCE) of a solar cell with a thermoelectric device operated by the photothermally generated heat. The PCE was increased more than 20% under sunlight irradiation (AM 1.5G) utilizing the transmitted light through the photovoltaic cell as a heat source that was converted into pyroelectric and thermoelectric output simultaneously from the high photothermal PEDOT electrodes. Overall, this work provides a dynamic and static hybrid energy cell to harvest solar energy in full spectral range and thermal energy, to allow solar powered switching of an electrochromic display. PMID:26308669

  3. Efficient Solar-Thermal Energy Harvest Driven by Interfacial Plasmonic Heating-Assisted Evaporation.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chao; Yang, Chao; Liu, Yanming; Tao, Peng; Song, Chengyi; Shang, Wen; Wu, Jianbo; Deng, Tao

    2016-09-01

    The plasmonic heating effect of noble nanoparticles has recently received tremendous attention for various important applications. Herein, we report the utilization of interfacial plasmonic heating-assisted evaporation for efficient and facile solar-thermal energy harvest. An airlaid paper-supported gold nanoparticle thin film was placed at the thermal energy conversion region within a sealed chamber to convert solar energy into thermal energy. The generated thermal energy instantly vaporizes the water underneath into hot vapors that quickly diffuse to the thermal energy release region of the chamber to condense into liquids and release the collected thermal energy. The condensed water automatically flows back to the thermal energy conversion region under the capillary force from the hydrophilic copper mesh. Such an approach simultaneously realizes efficient solar-to-thermal energy conversion and rapid transportation of converted thermal energy to target application terminals. Compared to conventional external photothermal conversion design, the solar-thermal harvesting device driven by the internal plasmonic heating effect has reduced the overall thermal resistance by more than 50% and has demonstrated more than 25% improvement of solar water heating efficiency. PMID:27537862

  4. Efficient Solar-Thermal Energy Harvest Driven by Interfacial Plasmonic Heating-Assisted Evaporation.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chao; Yang, Chao; Liu, Yanming; Tao, Peng; Song, Chengyi; Shang, Wen; Wu, Jianbo; Deng, Tao

    2016-09-01

    The plasmonic heating effect of noble nanoparticles has recently received tremendous attention for various important applications. Herein, we report the utilization of interfacial plasmonic heating-assisted evaporation for efficient and facile solar-thermal energy harvest. An airlaid paper-supported gold nanoparticle thin film was placed at the thermal energy conversion region within a sealed chamber to convert solar energy into thermal energy. The generated thermal energy instantly vaporizes the water underneath into hot vapors that quickly diffuse to the thermal energy release region of the chamber to condense into liquids and release the collected thermal energy. The condensed water automatically flows back to the thermal energy conversion region under the capillary force from the hydrophilic copper mesh. Such an approach simultaneously realizes efficient solar-to-thermal energy conversion and rapid transportation of converted thermal energy to target application terminals. Compared to conventional external photothermal conversion design, the solar-thermal harvesting device driven by the internal plasmonic heating effect has reduced the overall thermal resistance by more than 50% and has demonstrated more than 25% improvement of solar water heating efficiency.

  5. Transfer matrix modeling of a tensioned piezo-solar hybrid energy harvesting ribbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatterjee, Punnag; Bryant, Matthew

    2015-04-01

    This paper proposes a multifunctional compliant structure that can harvest electrical power from both incident sunlight and ambient mechanical energy including wind flow or vibration. The energy harvesting device consists of a slender, ribbon-like, flexible thin film solar cell that is laminated with piezoelectric patches. The harvester is mounted in longitudinal tension and subjected to a transverse wind flow to excite flow-induced aeroelastic vibrations. This paper formulates an analytic model of the bending dynamics of the device. We present a Transfer Matrix formulation that also accounts for the changes in natural frequencies and mode shapes of the system when subjected to axial loads in a beam. It also observed that mode shape obtained using TMM formulation shows numerical stability even for very high tensile loads providing results consistent with the geometric boundary conditions applied at the ends of a beam. This article also discusses about structurally modeling a piezo - solar energy harvester using TMM methodology, where a thin clampedclamped solar film is bonded with piezo patches having a much higher bending stiffness. Additionally, the effect of axial tension on the mode shape of the thin host structure of the piezo-solar ribbon is presented and it is shown how this tension can be used advantageously to affect the strain distribution of the entire structure and introduce higher strains at the piezo patches.

  6. Spectrally-selective all-inorganic scattering luminophores for solar energy-harvesting clear glass windows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alghamedi, Ramzy; Vasiliev, Mikhail; Nur-E-Alam, Mohammad; Alameh, Kamal

    2014-10-01

    All-inorganic visibly-transparent energy-harvesting clear laminated glass windows are the most practical solution to boosting building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) energy outputs significantly while reducing cooling- and heating-related energy consumption in buildings. By incorporating luminophore materials into lamination interlayers and using spectrally-selective thin-film coatings in conjunction with CuInSe2 solar cells, most of the visible solar radiation can be transmitted through the glass window with minimum attenuation while ultraviolet (UV) radiation is down-converted and routed together with a significant part of infrared radiation to the edges for collection by solar cells. Experimental results demonstrate a 10 cm × 10 cm vertically-placed energy-harvesting clear glass panel of transparency exceeding 60%, invisible solar energy attenuation greater than 90% and electrical power output near 30 Wp/m2 mainly generated by infrared (IR) and UV radiations. These results open the way for the realization of large-area visibly-transparent energy-harvesting clear glass windows for BIPV systems.

  7. Spectrally-selective all-inorganic scattering luminophores for solar energy-harvesting clear glass windows.

    PubMed

    Alghamedi, Ramzy; Vasiliev, Mikhail; Nur-E-Alam, Mohammad; Alameh, Kamal

    2014-10-16

    All-inorganic visibly-transparent energy-harvesting clear laminated glass windows are the most practical solution to boosting building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) energy outputs significantly while reducing cooling- and heating-related energy consumption in buildings. By incorporating luminophore materials into lamination interlayers and using spectrally-selective thin-film coatings in conjunction with CuInSe2 solar cells, most of the visible solar radiation can be transmitted through the glass window with minimum attenuation while ultraviolet (UV) radiation is down-converted and routed together with a significant part of infrared radiation to the edges for collection by solar cells. Experimental results demonstrate a 10 cm × 10 cm vertically-placed energy-harvesting clear glass panel of transparency exceeding 60%, invisible solar energy attenuation greater than 90% and electrical power output near 30 Wp/m(2) mainly generated by infrared (IR) and UV radiations. These results open the way for the realization of large-area visibly-transparent energy-harvesting clear glass windows for BIPV systems.

  8. Spectrally-selective all-inorganic scattering luminophores for solar energy-harvesting clear glass windows.

    PubMed

    Alghamedi, Ramzy; Vasiliev, Mikhail; Nur-E-Alam, Mohammad; Alameh, Kamal

    2014-01-01

    All-inorganic visibly-transparent energy-harvesting clear laminated glass windows are the most practical solution to boosting building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) energy outputs significantly while reducing cooling- and heating-related energy consumption in buildings. By incorporating luminophore materials into lamination interlayers and using spectrally-selective thin-film coatings in conjunction with CuInSe2 solar cells, most of the visible solar radiation can be transmitted through the glass window with minimum attenuation while ultraviolet (UV) radiation is down-converted and routed together with a significant part of infrared radiation to the edges for collection by solar cells. Experimental results demonstrate a 10 cm × 10 cm vertically-placed energy-harvesting clear glass panel of transparency exceeding 60%, invisible solar energy attenuation greater than 90% and electrical power output near 30 Wp/m(2) mainly generated by infrared (IR) and UV radiations. These results open the way for the realization of large-area visibly-transparent energy-harvesting clear glass windows for BIPV systems. PMID:25321890

  9. Rings, ellipses and horseshoes: how purple bacteria harvest solar energy.

    PubMed

    Cogdell, Richard J; Gardiner, Alastair T; Roszak, Aleksander W; Law, Christopher J; Southall, June; Isaacs, Neil W

    2004-01-01

    This Review summarises the current state of research on the structure and function of light-harvesting apparatus in purple photosynthetic bacteria. Particular emphasis is placed on the major open questions still outstanding in this field in addition to what is already known.

  10. Simple and Efficient System for Combined Solar Energy Harvesting and Reversible Hydrogen Storage.

    PubMed

    Li, Lu; Mu, Xiaoyue; Liu, Wenbo; Mi, Zetian; Li, Chao-Jun

    2015-06-24

    Solar energy harvesting and hydrogen economy are the two most important green energy endeavors for the future. However, a critical hurdle to the latter is how to safely and densely store and transfer hydrogen. Herein, we developed a reversible hydrogen storage system based on low-cost liquid organic cyclic hydrocarbons at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. A facile switch of hydrogen addition (>97% conversion) and release (>99% conversion) with superior capacity of 7.1 H2 wt % can be quickly achieved over a rationally optimized platinum catalyst with high electron density, simply regulated by dark/light conditions. Furthermore, the photodriven dehydrogenation of cyclic alkanes gave an excellent apparent quantum efficiency of 6.0% under visible light illumination (420-600 nm) without any other energy input, which provides an alternative route to artificial photosynthesis for directly harvesting and storing solar energy in the form of chemical fuel. PMID:26059734

  11. Simple and Efficient System for Combined Solar Energy Harvesting and Reversible Hydrogen Storage.

    PubMed

    Li, Lu; Mu, Xiaoyue; Liu, Wenbo; Mi, Zetian; Li, Chao-Jun

    2015-06-24

    Solar energy harvesting and hydrogen economy are the two most important green energy endeavors for the future. However, a critical hurdle to the latter is how to safely and densely store and transfer hydrogen. Herein, we developed a reversible hydrogen storage system based on low-cost liquid organic cyclic hydrocarbons at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. A facile switch of hydrogen addition (>97% conversion) and release (>99% conversion) with superior capacity of 7.1 H2 wt % can be quickly achieved over a rationally optimized platinum catalyst with high electron density, simply regulated by dark/light conditions. Furthermore, the photodriven dehydrogenation of cyclic alkanes gave an excellent apparent quantum efficiency of 6.0% under visible light illumination (420-600 nm) without any other energy input, which provides an alternative route to artificial photosynthesis for directly harvesting and storing solar energy in the form of chemical fuel.

  12. Light Trapping, Absorption and Solar Energy Harvesting by Artificial Materials

    SciTech Connect

    John, Sajeev

    2014-06-04

    We have studied light trapping in conical pore silicon photonic crystal architectures. We find considerable improvement in solar absorption (relative to nanowires) in a square lattice of conical nano-pores.

  13. Design, fabrication, and characterization of multifunctional wings to harvest solar energy in flapping wing air vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez-Rosado, Ariel; Gehlhar, Rachel D.; Nolen, Savannah; Gupta, Satyandra K.; Bruck, Hugh A.

    2015-06-01

    Currently, flapping wing unmanned aerial vehicles (a.k.a., ornithopters or robotic birds) sustain very short duration flight due to limited on-board energy storage capacity. Therefore, energy harvesting elements, such as flexible solar cells, need to be used as materials in critical components, such as wing structures, to increase operational performance. In this paper, we describe a layered fabrication method that was developed for realizing multifunctional composite wings for a unique robotic bird we developed, known as Robo Raven, by creating compliant wing structure from flexible solar cells. The deformed wing shape and aerodynamic lift/thrust loads were characterized throughout the flapping cycle to understand wing mechanics. A multifunctional performance analysis was developed to understand how integration of solar cells into the wings influences flight performance under two different operating conditions: (1) directly powering wings to increase operation time, and (2) recharging batteries to eliminate need for external charging sources. The experimental data is then used in the analysis to identify a performance index for assessing benefits of multifunctional compliant wing structures. The resulting platform, Robo Raven III, was the first demonstration of a robotic bird that flew using energy harvested from solar cells. We developed three different versions of the wing design to validate the multifunctional performance analysis. It was also determined that residual thrust correlated to shear deformation of the wing induced by torsional twist, while biaxial strain related to change in aerodynamic shape correlated to lift. It was also found that shear deformation of the solar cells induced changes in power output directly correlating to thrust generation associated with torsional deformation. Thus, it was determined that multifunctional solar cell wings may be capable of three functions: (1) lightweight and flexible structure to generate aerodynamic forces, (2

  14. New Insight into the Angle Insensitivity of Ultrathin Planar Optical Absorbers for Broadband Solar Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Dong; Yu, Haitong; Duan, Yuanyuan; Li, Qiang; Xuan, Yimin

    2016-09-01

    Two challenging problems still remain for optical absorbers consisting of an ultrathin planar semiconductor film on top of an opaque metallic substrate. One is the angle-insensitive mechanism and the other is the system design needed for broadband solar energy harvesting. Here, first we theoretically demonstrates that the high refractive index, instead of the ultrathin feature as reported in previous studies, is the physical origin of the angle insensitivity for ultrathin planar optical absorbers. They exhibit omnidirectional resonance for TE polarization due to the high complex refractive index difference between the semiconductor and the air, while for TM polarization the angle insensitivity persists up to an incident angle related to the semiconductor refractive index. These findings were validated by fabricating and characterizing an 18 nm Ge/Ag absorber sample (representative of small band gap semiconductors for photovoltaic applications) and a 22 nm hematite/Ag sample (representative of large band gap semiconductors for photoelectrochemical applications). Then, we took advantage of angle insensitivity and designed a spectrum splitting configuration for broadband solar energy harvesting. The cascaded solar cell and unassisted solar water splitting systems have photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical cells that are also spectrum splitters, so an external spectrum splitting element is not needed.

  15. New Insight into the Angle Insensitivity of Ultrathin Planar Optical Absorbers for Broadband Solar Energy Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Liu, Dong; Yu, Haitong; Duan, Yuanyuan; Li, Qiang; Xuan, Yimin

    2016-01-01

    Two challenging problems still remain for optical absorbers consisting of an ultrathin planar semiconductor film on top of an opaque metallic substrate. One is the angle-insensitive mechanism and the other is the system design needed for broadband solar energy harvesting. Here, first we theoretically demonstrates that the high refractive index, instead of the ultrathin feature as reported in previous studies, is the physical origin of the angle insensitivity for ultrathin planar optical absorbers. They exhibit omnidirectional resonance for TE polarization due to the high complex refractive index difference between the semiconductor and the air, while for TM polarization the angle insensitivity persists up to an incident angle related to the semiconductor refractive index. These findings were validated by fabricating and characterizing an 18 nm Ge/Ag absorber sample (representative of small band gap semiconductors for photovoltaic applications) and a 22 nm hematite/Ag sample (representative of large band gap semiconductors for photoelectrochemical applications). Then, we took advantage of angle insensitivity and designed a spectrum splitting configuration for broadband solar energy harvesting. The cascaded solar cell and unassisted solar water splitting systems have photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical cells that are also spectrum splitters, so an external spectrum splitting element is not needed. PMID:27582317

  16. New Insight into the Angle Insensitivity of Ultrathin Planar Optical Absorbers for Broadband Solar Energy Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Liu, Dong; Yu, Haitong; Duan, Yuanyuan; Li, Qiang; Xuan, Yimin

    2016-09-01

    Two challenging problems still remain for optical absorbers consisting of an ultrathin planar semiconductor film on top of an opaque metallic substrate. One is the angle-insensitive mechanism and the other is the system design needed for broadband solar energy harvesting. Here, first we theoretically demonstrates that the high refractive index, instead of the ultrathin feature as reported in previous studies, is the physical origin of the angle insensitivity for ultrathin planar optical absorbers. They exhibit omnidirectional resonance for TE polarization due to the high complex refractive index difference between the semiconductor and the air, while for TM polarization the angle insensitivity persists up to an incident angle related to the semiconductor refractive index. These findings were validated by fabricating and characterizing an 18 nm Ge/Ag absorber sample (representative of small band gap semiconductors for photovoltaic applications) and a 22 nm hematite/Ag sample (representative of large band gap semiconductors for photoelectrochemical applications). Then, we took advantage of angle insensitivity and designed a spectrum splitting configuration for broadband solar energy harvesting. The cascaded solar cell and unassisted solar water splitting systems have photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical cells that are also spectrum splitters, so an external spectrum splitting element is not needed.

  17. New Insight into the Angle Insensitivity of Ultrathin Planar Optical Absorbers for Broadband Solar Energy Harvesting

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Dong; Yu, Haitong; Duan, Yuanyuan; Li, Qiang; Xuan, Yimin

    2016-01-01

    Two challenging problems still remain for optical absorbers consisting of an ultrathin planar semiconductor film on top of an opaque metallic substrate. One is the angle-insensitive mechanism and the other is the system design needed for broadband solar energy harvesting. Here, first we theoretically demonstrates that the high refractive index, instead of the ultrathin feature as reported in previous studies, is the physical origin of the angle insensitivity for ultrathin planar optical absorbers. They exhibit omnidirectional resonance for TE polarization due to the high complex refractive index difference between the semiconductor and the air, while for TM polarization the angle insensitivity persists up to an incident angle related to the semiconductor refractive index. These findings were validated by fabricating and characterizing an 18 nm Ge/Ag absorber sample (representative of small band gap semiconductors for photovoltaic applications) and a 22 nm hematite/Ag sample (representative of large band gap semiconductors for photoelectrochemical applications). Then, we took advantage of angle insensitivity and designed a spectrum splitting configuration for broadband solar energy harvesting. The cascaded solar cell and unassisted solar water splitting systems have photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical cells that are also spectrum splitters, so an external spectrum splitting element is not needed. PMID:27582317

  18. Energy-Efficient Control with Harvesting Predictions for Solar-Powered Wireless Sensor Networks.

    PubMed

    Zou, Tengyue; Lin, Shouying; Feng, Qijie; Chen, Yanlian

    2016-01-04

    Wireless sensor networks equipped with rechargeable batteries are useful for outdoor environmental monitoring. However, the severe energy constraints of the sensor nodes present major challenges for long-term applications. To achieve sustainability, solar cells can be used to acquire energy from the environment. Unfortunately, the energy supplied by the harvesting system is generally intermittent and considerably influenced by the weather. To improve the energy efficiency and extend the lifetime of the networks, we propose algorithms for harvested energy prediction using environmental shadow detection. Thus, the sensor nodes can adjust their scheduling plans accordingly to best suit their energy production and residual battery levels. Furthermore, we introduce clustering and routing selection methods to optimize the data transmission, and a Bayesian network is used for warning notifications of bottlenecks along the path. The entire system is implemented on a real-time Texas Instruments CC2530 embedded platform, and the experimental results indicate that these mechanisms sustain the networks' activities in an uninterrupted and efficient manner.

  19. Energy-Efficient Control with Harvesting Predictions for Solar-Powered Wireless Sensor Networks

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Tengyue; Lin, Shouying; Feng, Qijie; Chen, Yanlian

    2016-01-01

    Wireless sensor networks equipped with rechargeable batteries are useful for outdoor environmental monitoring. However, the severe energy constraints of the sensor nodes present major challenges for long-term applications. To achieve sustainability, solar cells can be used to acquire energy from the environment. Unfortunately, the energy supplied by the harvesting system is generally intermittent and considerably influenced by the weather. To improve the energy efficiency and extend the lifetime of the networks, we propose algorithms for harvested energy prediction using environmental shadow detection. Thus, the sensor nodes can adjust their scheduling plans accordingly to best suit their energy production and residual battery levels. Furthermore, we introduce clustering and routing selection methods to optimize the data transmission, and a Bayesian network is used for warning notifications of bottlenecks along the path. The entire system is implemented on a real-time Texas Instruments CC2530 embedded platform, and the experimental results indicate that these mechanisms sustain the networks’ activities in an uninterrupted and efficient manner. PMID:26742042

  20. Improving the range of UHF RFID transponders using solar energy harvesting under low light conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ascher, A.; Lehner, M.; Eberhardt, M.; Biebl, E.

    2015-11-01

    The sensitivity of passive UHF RFID transponders (Radio Frequency Identification) is the key issue, which determines the maximum read range of an UHF RFID system. During this work the ability of improving the sensitivity using solar energy harvesting, especially for low light conditions, is shown. To use the additional energy harvested from the examined silicon and organic solar cells, the passive RFID system is changed into a semi-active one. This needs no changes on the reader hardware itself, only the used RFIC (Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit) of the transponder has to possess an additional input pin for an external supply voltage. The silicon and organic cells are evaluated and compared to each other regarding their low light performance. The different cells are examined in a shielded box, which is protected from the environmental lighting. Additionally, a demonstrator is shown, which makes the measurement of the extended read range with respect to the lighting conditions possible. If the cells are completely darkened, the sensitivity gain is ascertained using high capacity super caps. Due to the measurements an enhancement in range up to 70 % could be guaranteed even under low light conditions.

  1. Computational Analysis of Energy Pooling to Harvest Low-Energy Solar Energy in Organic Photovoltaic Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lacount, Michael; Shaheen, Sean; Rumbles, Garry; van de Lagemaat, Jao; Hu, Nan; Ostrowski, Dave; Lusk, Mark

    2014-03-01

    Current photovoltaic energy conversions do not typically utilize low energy sunlight absorption, leaving large sections of the solar spectrum untapped. It is possible, though, to absorb such radiation, generating low-energy excitons, and then pool them to create higher energy excitons, which can result in an increase in efficiency. Calculation of the rates at which such upconversion processes occur requires an accounting of all possible molecular quantum electrodynamics (QED) pathways. There are two paths associated with the upconversion. The cooperative mechanism involves a three-body interaction in which low energy excitons are transferred sequentially onto an acceptor molecule. The accretive pathway, requires that an exciton transfer its energy to a second exciton that subsequently transfers its energy to the acceptor molecule. We have computationally modeled both types of molecular QED obtaining rates using a combination of DFT and many-body Green function theory. The simulation platform is exercised by considering upconversion events associated with material composed of a high energy absorbing core of hexabenzocoronene (HBC) and low energy absorbing arms of oligothiophene. In addition, we make estimates for all competing processes in order to judge the relative efficiencies of these two processes.

  2. Thermal energy harvesting and solar energy conversion utilizing carbon-based nanomaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCarthy, Patrick T.

    This dissertation provides details of carbon-based nanomaterial fabrication for applications in energy harvesting and generation. As energy demands increase, and concerns about mankind's environmental impact increase, alternative methods of generating energy will be widely researched. Carbon-based nanomaterials may be effective in such applications as their fabrication is often inexpensive and they have highly desirable electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties. Synthesis and characterization of carbon nanotube thermal interfaces on gadolinium foils is described herein. Total thermal interface resistances of carbon nanotube coated gadolinium were measured using a one-dimensional reference calorimeter technique, and the effect of hydrogen embrittlement on the magnetic properties of gadolinium foils is discussed. The samples generated in this study were consistently measured with reduced total thermal interface resistances of 55-70% compared to bare gadolinium. Characterization of gadolinium foils in a cooling device called a magneto thermoelectric generator was also performed. A gadolinium shuttle drives the device as it transitions between ferromagnetic and paramagnetic states. Reduced interface resistances from the carbon nanotube arrays led to increased shuttle frequency and effective heat transfer coefficients. Detailed theoretical derivations for electron emission during thermal and photo-excitation are provided for both three-dimensional and two-dimensional materials. The derived theories were fitted to experimental data from variable temperature photoemission studies of potassium-intercalated graphitic nanopetals. A work function reduction from approximately 4.5 eV to 2 -- 3 eV resulted from potassium intercalation and adsorption. While changes in the electron energy distribution shape and intensity were significant within 310 -- 680 K, potassium-intercalated graphitic petals demonstrate very high thermal stability after heating to nearly 1000 K. Boron

  3. Novel solar energy harvesting options based on solution-processable inorganic/organic hybrid materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stingelin, Natalie

    2015-03-01

    The growing demand for energy and increasing concerns for the effect of the excessive abuse of fossil fuels on the environment force the scientific world to search for alternative, clean and safe energy sources. Finding ways to harvest solar energy is thereby one of the most appealing options. Here, we present a novel approach that exploits the versatile properties of recently developed, photoactive organic/inorganic hybrid fluids based on titanium oxide hydrates and polyalcohols for the production of versatile solar fuels. We will show that such systems can absorb light in the UV-near visible wave-length range. The sunlight's energy is then converted into chemical energy in the form of reduced titanium species, which can be re-oxidised by oxygen when required. Therefore, the absorbed energy is stored as long as oxygen is excluded by the hybrid system. We, furthermore, demonstrate that once discharged, the fluid can be activated again by exposing it to sunlight and recycled - a property that is important technologically. The same hybrids can also be exploited to produce structures that permit efficient management of light. We will illustrate the potential of this class of materials based on some of our recent approaches to fabricate light-scattering and light in-coupling structures, and discuss future opportunities they open up.

  4. Plasmonic near-touching titanium oxide nanoparticles to realize solar energy harvesting and effective local heating.

    PubMed

    Yan, Jiahao; Liu, Pu; Ma, Churong; Lin, Zhaoyong; Yang, Guowei

    2016-04-28

    Through the excitation of plasmon resonance, the energy of plasmonic nanoparticles either reradiates through light scattering or decays into energetic electrons (absorption). The plasmon-induced absorption can greatly enhance the efficiency of solar energy harvesting, local heating, photodetection and photocatalysis. Here, we demonstrate that heavily self-doped titanium oxide nanoparticles (TiO1.67 analogue arising from oxygen vacancies in rutile TiO2) with the plasmon resonance dominated by an interband transition shows strong absorption to build a broadband perfect absorber in the wavelength range from 300 to 2000 nm covering the solar irradiation spectrum completely. The absorptivity of the fabricated array is greater than 90% in the whole spectral range. And the broadband and strong absorption is due to the plasmon hybridization and hot spot generation from near-touching TiO1.67 nanoparticles with different sizes. What is more, the local heating of a TiO1.67 nanoparticle layer is fast and effective. The temperature increases quickly from 30 °C to 80 °C within 200 seconds. This local heating can realize rapid solar-enabled evaporation which can find applications in large-scale distillation and seawater desalination. These findings actually open a pathway for applications of these newly developed plasmonic materials in the energy and environment fields. PMID:27067248

  5. Plasmonic near-touching titanium oxide nanoparticles to realize solar energy harvesting and effective local heating.

    PubMed

    Yan, Jiahao; Liu, Pu; Ma, Churong; Lin, Zhaoyong; Yang, Guowei

    2016-04-28

    Through the excitation of plasmon resonance, the energy of plasmonic nanoparticles either reradiates through light scattering or decays into energetic electrons (absorption). The plasmon-induced absorption can greatly enhance the efficiency of solar energy harvesting, local heating, photodetection and photocatalysis. Here, we demonstrate that heavily self-doped titanium oxide nanoparticles (TiO1.67 analogue arising from oxygen vacancies in rutile TiO2) with the plasmon resonance dominated by an interband transition shows strong absorption to build a broadband perfect absorber in the wavelength range from 300 to 2000 nm covering the solar irradiation spectrum completely. The absorptivity of the fabricated array is greater than 90% in the whole spectral range. And the broadband and strong absorption is due to the plasmon hybridization and hot spot generation from near-touching TiO1.67 nanoparticles with different sizes. What is more, the local heating of a TiO1.67 nanoparticle layer is fast and effective. The temperature increases quickly from 30 °C to 80 °C within 200 seconds. This local heating can realize rapid solar-enabled evaporation which can find applications in large-scale distillation and seawater desalination. These findings actually open a pathway for applications of these newly developed plasmonic materials in the energy and environment fields.

  6. Organometallic photovoltaics: a new and versatile approach for harvesting solar energy using conjugated polymetallaynes.

    PubMed

    Wong, Wai-Yeung; Ho, Cheuk-Lam

    2010-09-21

    Energy remains one of the world's great challenges. Growing concerns about limited fossil fuel resources and the accumulation of CO(2) in the atmosphere from burning those fuels have stimulated tremendous academic and industrial interest. Researchers are focusing both on developing inexpensive renewable energy resources and on improving the technologies for energy conversion. Solar energy has the capacity to meet increasing global energy needs. Harvesting energy directly from sunlight using photovoltaic technology significantly reduces atmospheric emissions, avoiding the detrimental effects of these gases on the environment. Currently inorganic semiconductors dominate the solar cell production market, but these materials require high technology production and expensive materials, making electricity produced in this manner too costly to compete with conventional sources of electricity. Researchers have successfully fabricated efficient organic-based polymer solar cells (PSCs) as a lower cost alternative. Recently, metalated conjugated polymers have shown exceptional promise as donor materials in bulk-heterojunction solar cells and are emerging as viable alternatives to the all-organic congeners currently in use. Among these metalated conjugated polymers, soluble platinum(II)-containing poly(arylene ethynylene)s of variable bandgaps (∼1.4-3.0 eV) represent attractive candidates for a cost-effective, lightweight solar-energy conversion platform. This Account highlights and discusses the recent advances of this research frontier in organometallic photovoltaics. The emerging use of low-bandgap soluble platinum-acetylide polymers in PSCs offers a new and versatile strategy to capture sunlight for efficient solar power generation. Properties of these polyplatinynes--including their chemical structures, absorption coefficients, bandgaps, charge mobilities, accessibility of triplet excitons, molecular weights, and blend film morphologies--critically influence the device

  7. Solar energy harvesting in the epicuticle of the oriental hornet ( Vespa orientalis)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plotkin, Marian; Hod, Idan; Zaban, Arie; Boden, Stuart A.; Bagnall, Darren M.; Galushko, Dmitry; Bergman, David J.

    2010-12-01

    The Oriental hornet worker correlates its digging activity with solar insolation. Solar radiation passes through the epicuticle, which exhibits a grating-like structure, and continues to pass through layers of the exo-endocuticle until it is absorbed by the pigment melanin in the brown-colored cuticle or xanthopterin in the yellow-colored cuticle. The correlation between digging activity and the ability of the cuticle to absorb part of the solar radiation implies that the Oriental hornet may harvest parts of the solar radiation. In this study, we explore this intriguing possibility by analyzing the biophysical properties of the cuticle. We use rigorous coupled wave analysis simulations to show that the cuticle surfaces are structured to reduced reflectance and act as diffraction gratings to trap light and increase the amount absorbed in the cuticle. A dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) was constructed in order to show the ability of xanthopterin to serve as a light-harvesting molecule.

  8. Plasmonic near-touching titanium oxide nanoparticles to realize solar energy harvesting and effective local heating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Jiahao; Liu, Pu; Ma, Churong; Lin, Zhaoyong; Yang, Guowei

    2016-04-01

    Through the excitation of plasmon resonance, the energy of plasmonic nanoparticles either reradiates through light scattering or decays into energetic electrons (absorption). The plasmon-induced absorption can greatly enhance the efficiency of solar energy harvesting, local heating, photodetection and photocatalysis. Here, we demonstrate that heavily self-doped titanium oxide nanoparticles (TiO1.67 analogue arising from oxygen vacancies in rutile TiO2) with the plasmon resonance dominated by an interband transition shows strong absorption to build a broadband perfect absorber in the wavelength range from 300 to 2000 nm covering the solar irradiation spectrum completely. The absorptivity of the fabricated array is greater than 90% in the whole spectral range. And the broadband and strong absorption is due to the plasmon hybridization and hot spot generation from near-touching TiO1.67 nanoparticles with different sizes. What is more, the local heating of a TiO1.67 nanoparticle layer is fast and effective. The temperature increases quickly from 30 °C to 80 °C within 200 seconds. This local heating can realize rapid solar-enabled evaporation which can find applications in large-scale distillation and seawater desalination. These findings actually open a pathway for applications of these newly developed plasmonic materials in the energy and environment fields.Through the excitation of plasmon resonance, the energy of plasmonic nanoparticles either reradiates through light scattering or decays into energetic electrons (absorption). The plasmon-induced absorption can greatly enhance the efficiency of solar energy harvesting, local heating, photodetection and photocatalysis. Here, we demonstrate that heavily self-doped titanium oxide nanoparticles (TiO1.67 analogue arising from oxygen vacancies in rutile TiO2) with the plasmon resonance dominated by an interband transition shows strong absorption to build a broadband perfect absorber in the wavelength range from 300 to

  9. Photofabrication of fullerene-shelled quantum dots supramolecular nanoparticles for solar energy harvesting.

    PubMed

    Shibu, Edakkattuparambil Sidharth; Sonoda, Akinari; Tao, Zhuoqiz; Feng, Qi; Furube, Akihiro; Masuo, Sadahiro; Wang, Li; Tamai, Naoto; Ishikawa, Mitsuru; Biju, Vasudevanpillai

    2012-02-28

    nanoparticles among the most promising antenna systems for the construction of cost-effective and stable next generation solar energy harvesting systems.

  10. Piezoelectric, solar and thermal energy harvesting for hybrid low-power generator systems with thin-film batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gambier, P.; Anton, S. R.; Kong, N.; Erturk, A.; Inman, D. J.

    2012-01-01

    The harvesting of ambient energy to power small electronic components has received tremendous attention over the last decade. The research goal in this field is to enable self-powered electronic components for use particularly in wireless sensing and measurement applications. Thermal energy due to temperature gradients, solar energy and ambient vibrations constitute some of the major sources of energy that can be harvested. Researchers have presented several papers focusing on each of these topics separately. This paper aims to develop a hybrid power generator and storage system using these three sources of energy in order to improve both structural multifunctionality and system-level robustness in energy harvesting. A multilayer structure with flexible solar, piezoceramic, thin-film battery and metallic substructure layers is developed (with the overhang dimensions of 93 mm × 25 mm × 1.5 mm in cantilevered configuration). Thermal energy is also used for charging the thin-film battery layers using a 30.5 mm × 33 mm × 4.1 mm generator. Performance results are presented for charging and discharging of the thin-film battery layers using each one of the harvesting methods. It is shown based on the extrapolation of a set of measurements that 1 mA h of a thin-film battery can be charged in 20 min using solar energy (for a solar irradiance level of 223 W m-2), in 40 min using thermal energy (for a temperature difference of 31 °C) and in 8 h using vibrational energy (for a harmonic base acceleration input of 0.5g at 56.4 Hz).

  11. Micro-cable structured textile for simultaneously harvesting solar and mechanical energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jun; Huang, Yi; Zhang, Nannan; Zou, Haiyang; Liu, Ruiyuan; Tao, Changyuan; Fan, Xing; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2016-10-01

    Developing lightweight, flexible, foldable and sustainable power sources with simple transport and storage remains a challenge and an urgent need for the advancement of next-generation wearable electronics. Here, we report a micro-cable power textile for simultaneously harvesting energy from ambient sunshine and mechanical movement. Solar cells fabricated from lightweight polymer fibres into micro cables are then woven via a shuttle-flying process with fibre-based triboelectric nanogenerators to create a smart fabric. A single layer of such fabric is 320 μm thick and can be integrated into various cloths, curtains, tents and so on. This hybrid power textile, fabricated with a size of 4 cm by 5 cm, was demonstrated to charge a 2 mF commercial capacitor up to 2 V in 1 min under ambient sunlight in the presence of mechanical excitation, such as human motion and wind blowing. The textile could continuously power an electronic watch, directly charge a cell phone and drive water splitting reactions.

  12. Broadband pendulum energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Changwei; Wu, You; Zuo, Lei

    2016-09-01

    A novel electromagnetic pendulum energy harvester with mechanical motion rectifier (MMR) is proposed and investigated in this paper. MMR is a mechanism which rectifies the bidirectional swing motion of the pendulum into unidirectional rotation of the generator by using two one-way clutches in the gear system. In this paper, two prototypes of pendulum energy harvester with MMR and without MMR are designed and fabricated. The dynamic model of the proposed MMR pendulum energy harvester is established by considering the engagement and disengagement of the one way clutches. The simulation results show that the proposed MMR pendulum energy harvester has a larger output power at high frequencies comparing with non-MMR pendulum energy harvester which benefits from the disengagement of one-way clutch during pendulum vibration. Moreover, the proposed MMR pendulum energy harvester is broadband compare with non-MMR pendulum energy harvester, especially when the equivalent inertia is large. An experiment is also conducted to compare the energy harvesting performance of these two prototypes. A flywheel is attached at the end of the generator to make the disengagement more significant. The experiment results also verify that MMR pendulum energy harvester is broadband and has a larger output power at high frequency over the non-MMR pendulum energy harvester.

  13. Synthetic polymers for solar harvesting.

    PubMed

    Ghiggino, Kenneth P; Bell, Toby D M; Hooley, Emma N

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic polymers incorporating appropriate chromophores can act as light harvesting antennae for artificial photosynthetic systems. The photophysical processes occurring in a polymer based on phenylene vinylene have been investigated at the single chain level and in bulk solution to study energy transfer processes. Most single chains of an alternating copolymer of 2-methoxy-5-(2'-ethylhexyloxy)-1,4-phenylene vinylene and 1,4-phenylene vinylene (alt-co-MEH-PPV) dispersed in a transparent polymer matrix act as single chromophore emitters demonstrating that energy transfer is an efficient process in these polymers. However for individual polymer chains there are fluctuations in emission intensity ('blinking') and shifts in emission spectra, decay lifetimes and emission dipole orientation occurring on a time-scale of tens of seconds. Fluorescence blinking also occurs on a sub-millisecond time-scale and follows exponential kinetics, whereas the longer blinking is better described by a power law. These observations can be interpreted as arising from environmental relaxation processes and/or changes in the emitter and demonstrate the wide distribution of photophysical behaviours that can be observed among the individual molecules of a polymer sample. The relevance of these studies to the application of polymer materials for solar harvesting is highlighted.

  14. Carbon Nanotube Thin Films for Active Noise Cancellation, Solar Energy Harvesting, and Energy Storage in Building Windows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Shan

    This research explores the application of carbon nanotube (CNT) films for active noise cancellation, solar energy harvesting and energy storage in building windows. The CNT-based components developed herein can be integrated into a solar-powered active noise control system for a building window. First, the use of a transparent acoustic transducer as both an invisible speaker for auxiliary audio playback and for active noise cancellation is accomplished in this work. Several challenges related to active noise cancellation in the window are addressed. These include secondary path estimation and directional cancellation of noise so as to preserve auxiliary audio and internal sounds while preventing transmission of external noise into the building. Solar energy can be harvested at a low rate of power over long durations while acoustic sound cancellation requires short durations of high power. A supercapacitor based energy storage system is therefore considered for the window. Using CNTs as electrode materials, two generations of flexible, thin, and fully solid-state supercapacitors are developed that can be integrated into the window frame. Both generations consist of carbon nanotube films coated on supporting substrates as electrodes and a solid-state polymer gel layer for the electrolyte. The first generation is a single-cell parallel-plate supercapacitor with a working voltage of 3 Volts. Its energy density is competitive with commercially available supercapacitors (which use liquid electrolyte). For many applications that will require higher working voltage, the second-generation multi-cell supercapacitor is developed. A six-cell device with a working voltage as high as 12 Volts is demonstrated here. Unlike the first generation's 3D structure, the second generation has a novel planar (2D) architecture, which makes it easy to integrate multiple cells into a thin and flexible supercapacitor. The multi-cell planar supercapacitor has energy density exceeding that of

  15. Individual speckle diffraction based 1D and 2D Random Grating Fabrication for detector and solar energy harvesting applications

    PubMed Central

    Bingi, Jayachandra; Murukeshan, Vadakke Matham

    2016-01-01

    Laser speckles and speckle patterns, which are formed by the random interference of scattered waves from optically rough surfaces, have found tremendous applications in a wide range of metrological and biomedical fields. Here, we demonstrate a novel edge diffraction phenomenon of individual speckle for the fabrication of 1D and 2D micron and sub-micron size random gratings. These random gratings exhibit broadband response with interesting diffusive diffraction patterns. As an immediate application for solar energy harvesting, significant reduction in transmission and enhanced absorption in thin “Si-random grating-Si” sandwich structure is demonstrated. This work has multifaceted significance where we exploited the individual speckle diffraction properties for the first time. Besides the solar harvesting applications, random gratings are suitable structures for fabrication of theoretically proposed random quantum well IR detectors and hence expected that this work will augur well for such studies in the near future. PMID:26842242

  16. Hybrid energy harvesting using active thermal backplane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Hyun-Wook; Lee, Dong-Gun

    2016-04-01

    In this study, we demonstrate the concept of a new hybrid energy harvesting system by combing solar cells with magneto-thermoelectric generator (MTG, i.e., thermal energy harvesting). The silicon solar cell can easily reach high temperature under normal operating conditions. Thus the heated solar cell becomes rapidly less efficient as the temperature of solar cell rises. To increase the efficiency of the solar cell, air or water-based cooling system is used. To surpass conventional cooling devices requiring additional power as well as large working space for air/water collectors, we develop a new technology of pairing an active thermal backplane (ATB) to solar cell. The ATB design is based on MTG technology utilizing the physics of the 2nd order phase transition of active ferromagnetic materials. The MTG is cost-effective conversion of thermal energy to electrical energy and is fundamentally different from Seebeck TEG devices. The ATB (MTG) is in addition to being an energy conversion system, a very good conveyor of heat through both conduction and convection. Therefore, the ATB can provide dual-mode for the proposed hybrid energy harvesting. One is active convective and conductive cooling for heated solar cell. Another is active thermal energy harvesting from heat of solar cell. These novel hybrid energy harvesting device have potentially simultaneous energy conversion capability of solar and thermal energy into electricity. The results presented can be used for better understanding of hybrid energy harvesting system that can be integrated into commercial applications.

  17. Solar cells incorporating light harvesting arrays

    DOEpatents

    Lindsey, Jonathan S.; Meyer, Gerald J.

    2002-01-01

    A solar cell incorporates a light harvesting array that comprises: (a) a first substrate comprising a first electrode; and (b) a layer of light harvesting rods electrically coupled to the first electrode, each of the light harvesting rods comprising a polymer of Formula I: X.sup.1.paren open-st.X.sup.m+1).sub.m (I) wherein m is at least 1, and may be from two, three or four to 20 or more; X.sup.1 is a charge separation group (and preferably a porphyrinic macrocycle, which may be one ligand of a double-decker sandwich compound) having an excited-state of energy equal to or lower than that of X.sup.2 ; and X.sup.2 through X.sup.m+1 are chromophores (and again are preferably porphyrinic macrocycles).

  18. Solar cells incorporating light harvesting arrays

    DOEpatents

    Lindsey, Jonathan S.; Meyer, Gerald J.

    2003-07-22

    A solar cell incorporates a light harvesting array that comprises: (a) a first substrate comprising a first electrode; and (b) a layer of light harvesting rods electrically coupled to the first electrode, each of the light harvesting rods comprising a polymer of Formula I: ##EQU1## wherein m is at least 1, and may be from two, three or four to 20 or more; X.sup.1 is a charge separation group (and preferably a porphyrinic macrocycle, which may be one ligand of a double-decker sandwich compound) having an excited-state of energy equal to or lower than that of X.sup.2 ; and X.sup.2 through X.sup.m+1 are chromophores (and again are preferably porphyrinic macrocycles).

  19. Design of broadband multilayer dichroic coating for a high-efficiency solar energy harvesting system.

    PubMed

    Jiachen, Wang; Lee, Sang Bae; Lee, Kwanil

    2015-05-20

    We report on the design and performance of a broadband dichroic coating for a solar energy conversion system. As a spectral beam splitter, the coating facilitates a hybrid system that combines a photovoltaic cell with a thermal collector. When positioned at a 45° angle with respect to incident light, the coating provides high reflectance in the 40-1100 nm and high transmission in the 1200-2000 nm ranges for a photovoltaic cell and a thermal collector, respectively. Numerical simulations show that our design leads to a sharp transition between the reflection and transmission bands, low ripples in both bands, and slight polarization dependence.

  20. Near-Infrared Plasmonic-Enhanced Solar Energy Harvest for Highly Efficient Photocatalytic Reactions.

    PubMed

    Cui, Jiabin; Li, Yongjia; Liu, Lei; Chen, Lin; Xu, Jun; Ma, Jingwen; Fang, Gang; Zhu, Enbo; Wu, Hao; Zhao, Lixia; Wang, Leyu; Huang, Yu

    2015-10-14

    We report a highly efficient photocatalyst comprised of Cu7S4@Pd heteronanostructures with plasmonic absorption in the near-infrared (NIR)-range. Our results indicated that the strong NIR plasmonic absorption of Cu7S4@Pd facilitated hot carrier transfer from Cu7S4 to Pd, which subsequently promoted the catalytic reactions on Pd metallic surface. We confirmed such enhancement mechanism could effectively boost the sunlight utilization in a wide range of photocatalytic reactions, including the Suzuki coupling reaction, hydrogenation of nitrobenzene, and oxidation of benzyl alcohol. Even under irradiation at 1500 nm with low power density (0.45 W/cm(2)), these heteronanostructures demonstrated excellent catalytic activities. Under solar illumination with power density as low as 40 mW/cm(2), nearly 80-100% of conversion was achieved within 2 h for all three types of organic reactions. Furthermore, recycling experiments showed the Cu7S4@Pd were stable and could retain their structures and high activity after five cycles. The reported synthetic protocol can be easily extended to other Cu7S4@M (M = Pt, Ag, Au) catalysts, offering a new solution to design and fabricate highly effective photocatalysts with broad material choices for efficient conversion of solar energy to chemical energy in an environmentally friendly manner.

  1. Near-Infrared Plasmonic-Enhanced Solar Energy Harvest for Highly Efficient Photocatalytic Reactions.

    PubMed

    Cui, Jiabin; Li, Yongjia; Liu, Lei; Chen, Lin; Xu, Jun; Ma, Jingwen; Fang, Gang; Zhu, Enbo; Wu, Hao; Zhao, Lixia; Wang, Leyu; Huang, Yu

    2015-10-14

    We report a highly efficient photocatalyst comprised of Cu7S4@Pd heteronanostructures with plasmonic absorption in the near-infrared (NIR)-range. Our results indicated that the strong NIR plasmonic absorption of Cu7S4@Pd facilitated hot carrier transfer from Cu7S4 to Pd, which subsequently promoted the catalytic reactions on Pd metallic surface. We confirmed such enhancement mechanism could effectively boost the sunlight utilization in a wide range of photocatalytic reactions, including the Suzuki coupling reaction, hydrogenation of nitrobenzene, and oxidation of benzyl alcohol. Even under irradiation at 1500 nm with low power density (0.45 W/cm(2)), these heteronanostructures demonstrated excellent catalytic activities. Under solar illumination with power density as low as 40 mW/cm(2), nearly 80-100% of conversion was achieved within 2 h for all three types of organic reactions. Furthermore, recycling experiments showed the Cu7S4@Pd were stable and could retain their structures and high activity after five cycles. The reported synthetic protocol can be easily extended to other Cu7S4@M (M = Pt, Ag, Au) catalysts, offering a new solution to design and fabricate highly effective photocatalysts with broad material choices for efficient conversion of solar energy to chemical energy in an environmentally friendly manner. PMID:26373787

  2. Silicon Nanowires for Solar Thermal Energy Harvesting: an Experimental Evaluation on the Trade-off Effects of the Spectral Optical Properties.

    PubMed

    Sekone, Abdoul Karim; Chen, Yu-Bin; Lu, Ming-Chang; Chen, Wen-Kai; Liu, Chia-An; Lee, Ming-Tsang

    2016-12-01

    Silicon nanowire possesses great potential as the material for renewable energy harvesting and conversion. The significantly reduced spectral reflectivity of silicon nanowire to visible light makes it even more attractive in solar energy applications. However, the benefit of its use for solar thermal energy harvesting remains to be investigated and has so far not been clearly reported. The purpose of this study is to provide practical information and insight into the performance of silicon nanowires in solar thermal energy conversion systems. Spectral hemispherical reflectivity and transmissivity of the black silicon nanowire array on silicon wafer substrate were measured. It was observed that the reflectivity is lower in the visible range but higher in the infrared range compared to the plain silicon wafer. A drying experiment and a theoretical calculation were carried out to directly evaluate the effects of the trade-off between scattering properties at different wavelengths. It is clearly seen that silicon nanowires can improve the solar thermal energy harnessing. The results showed that a 17.8 % increase in the harvest and utilization of solar thermal energy could be achieved using a silicon nanowire array on silicon substrate as compared to that obtained with a plain silicon wafer.

  3. Silicon Nanowires for Solar Thermal Energy Harvesting: an Experimental Evaluation on the Trade-off Effects of the Spectral Optical Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekone, Abdoul Karim; Chen, Yu-Bin; Lu, Ming-Chang; Chen, Wen-Kai; Liu, Chia-An; Lee, Ming-Tsang

    2016-01-01

    Silicon nanowire possesses great potential as the material for renewable energy harvesting and conversion. The significantly reduced spectral reflectivity of silicon nanowire to visible light makes it even more attractive in solar energy applications. However, the benefit of its use for solar thermal energy harvesting remains to be investigated and has so far not been clearly reported. The purpose of this study is to provide practical information and insight into the performance of silicon nanowires in solar thermal energy conversion systems. Spectral hemispherical reflectivity and transmissivity of the black silicon nanowire array on silicon wafer substrate were measured. It was observed that the reflectivity is lower in the visible range but higher in the infrared range compared to the plain silicon wafer. A drying experiment and a theoretical calculation were carried out to directly evaluate the effects of the trade-off between scattering properties at different wavelengths. It is clearly seen that silicon nanowires can improve the solar thermal energy harnessing. The results showed that a 17.8 % increase in the harvest and utilization of solar thermal energy could be achieved using a silicon nanowire array on silicon substrate as compared to that obtained with a plain silicon wafer.

  4. Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Caliò, Renato; Rongala, Udaya Bhaskar; Camboni, Domenico; Milazzo, Mario; Stefanini, Cesare; de Petris, Gianluca; Oddo, Calogero Maria

    2014-01-01

    This paper reviews the state of the art in piezoelectric energy harvesting. It presents the basics of piezoelectricity and discusses materials choice. The work places emphasis on material operating modes and device configurations, from resonant to non-resonant devices and also to rotational solutions. The reviewed literature is compared based on power density and bandwidth. Lastly, the question of power conversion is addressed by reviewing various circuit solutions. PMID:24618725

  5. Can Integrated Micro-Optical Concentrator Technology Revolutionize Flat-Plate Photovoltaic Solar Energy Harvesting?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haney, Michael W.

    2015-12-01

    The economies-of-scale and enhanced performance of integrated micro-technologies have repeatedly delivered disruptive market impact. Examples range from microelectronics to displays to lighting. However, integrated micro-scale technologies have yet to be applied in a transformational way to solar photovoltaic panels. The recently announced Micro-scale Optimized Solar-cell Arrays with Integrated Concentration (MOSAIC) program aims to create a new paradigm in solar photovoltaic panel technology based on the incorporation of micro-concentrating photo-voltaic (μ-CPV) cells. As depicted in Figure 1, MOSAIC will integrate arrays of micro-optical concentrating elements and micro-scale PV elements to achieve the same aggregated collection area and high conversion efficiency of a conventional (i.e., macro-scale) CPV approach, but with the low profile and mass, and hopefully cost, of a conventional non-concentrated PV panel. The reduced size and weight, and enhanced wiring complexity, of the MOSAIC approach provide the opportunity to access the high-performance/low-cost region between the conventional CPV and flat-plate (1-sun) PV domains shown in Figure 2. Accessing this portion of the graph in Figure 2 will expand the geographic and market reach of flat-plate PV. This talk reviews the motivation and goals for the MOSAIC program. The diversity of the technical approaches to micro-concentration, embedded solar tracking, and hybrid direct/diffuse solar resource collection found in the MOSAIC portfolio of projects will also be highlighted.

  6. Energy harvesting of dye-sensitized solar cells assisted with Ti-mesh and phosphor materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Weizhen; Timur, Atabaev Sh; Kim, Hyung-Kook; Hwang, Yoon-Hwae

    2014-03-01

    We used the Ti-meshes for both the photoanode and counter electrode of the dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) to improve the flexibility and conductivity of electrodes. This mesh type electrode showed good transparency and high bendability when subjected to an external force. The overall efficiency of the best cells was approximately 5.3% under standard air mass 1.5 global (AM 1.5 G) solar condition. We also modified the TiO2 nanoparticle based dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) by depositing a layer of long-persistent phosphor SrAl2O4:Eu2+, Dy3+ on top of the TiO2 nanoparticle layer to prepare working electrodes of DSSCs. SrAl2O4:Eu2+, Dy3+ red-shifted short UV wavelengths into the main absorption range of the dye commonly used in DSSCs. The SrAl2O4:Eu2+, Dy3+ layer also acted as a light-scattering layer to reduce the loss of visible light. An overall 13% improvement in the conversion efficiency of modified DSSCs was achieved due to the presence of the phosphor layer.

  7. Wurtzite CZTS nanocrystals and phase evolution to kesterite thin film for solar energy harvesting.

    PubMed

    Ghorpade, Uma V; Suryawanshi, Mahesh P; Shin, Seung Wook; Hong, Chang Woo; Kim, Inyoung; Moon, Jong H; Yun, Jae Ho; Kim, Jin Hyeok; Kolekar, Sanjay S

    2015-08-14

    A quaternary indium- and gallium-free kesterite (KS)-based compound, copper zinc tin sulfide (Cu2ZnSnS4, CZTS), has received significant attention for its potential applications in low cost and sustainable solar cells. It is well known that the reaction time, reactivity of the precursors, and types of capping ligands used during the synthesis of colloidal nanocrystals (NCs) strongly influence the crystallographic phase of the NCs. In this research, a non-toxic and green synthetic strategy for both the synthesis of CZTS NCs and the fabrication of a highly efficient CZTS absorber layers using an ink formulation without a toxic solvent, which meets the comprehensive framework for green chemistry that covers major aspects of the environmental strain, is demonstrated. In particular, pure metastable wurtzite (WZ) CZTS NCs are synthesized using the environmentally harmless, polyol mediated hot-injection (HI) technique at a low reaction temperature. The influence of the reaction time on the properties of the CZTS NCs is investigated in detail. Based on detailed reaction time dependent phase evolution, a possible growth and formation mechanism is proposed. Furthermore, a scalable, low cost, binder free ink formulation process without ligand exchange is developed using ethanol as the dispersal solvent. The as-prepared WZ-derived CZTS NC thin films are observed to undergo a phase transformation to KS during annealing in a sulfur vapor atmosphere via rapid thermal annealing above 500 °C, and surprisingly, this process results in fully sintered, compact and uniform CZTS thin films with large sized grains. The best solar cell device fabricated using a CZTS absorber that was sulfurized at an optimized temperature exhibits a power conversion efficiency of 2.44%, which is the highest efficiency obtained using the polyol-based HI route.

  8. Wurtzite CZTS nanocrystals and phase evolution to kesterite thin film for solar energy harvesting.

    PubMed

    Ghorpade, Uma V; Suryawanshi, Mahesh P; Shin, Seung Wook; Hong, Chang Woo; Kim, Inyoung; Moon, Jong H; Yun, Jae Ho; Kim, Jin Hyeok; Kolekar, Sanjay S

    2015-08-14

    A quaternary indium- and gallium-free kesterite (KS)-based compound, copper zinc tin sulfide (Cu2ZnSnS4, CZTS), has received significant attention for its potential applications in low cost and sustainable solar cells. It is well known that the reaction time, reactivity of the precursors, and types of capping ligands used during the synthesis of colloidal nanocrystals (NCs) strongly influence the crystallographic phase of the NCs. In this research, a non-toxic and green synthetic strategy for both the synthesis of CZTS NCs and the fabrication of a highly efficient CZTS absorber layers using an ink formulation without a toxic solvent, which meets the comprehensive framework for green chemistry that covers major aspects of the environmental strain, is demonstrated. In particular, pure metastable wurtzite (WZ) CZTS NCs are synthesized using the environmentally harmless, polyol mediated hot-injection (HI) technique at a low reaction temperature. The influence of the reaction time on the properties of the CZTS NCs is investigated in detail. Based on detailed reaction time dependent phase evolution, a possible growth and formation mechanism is proposed. Furthermore, a scalable, low cost, binder free ink formulation process without ligand exchange is developed using ethanol as the dispersal solvent. The as-prepared WZ-derived CZTS NC thin films are observed to undergo a phase transformation to KS during annealing in a sulfur vapor atmosphere via rapid thermal annealing above 500 °C, and surprisingly, this process results in fully sintered, compact and uniform CZTS thin films with large sized grains. The best solar cell device fabricated using a CZTS absorber that was sulfurized at an optimized temperature exhibits a power conversion efficiency of 2.44%, which is the highest efficiency obtained using the polyol-based HI route. PMID:26153341

  9. Photonic color filters integrated with organic solar cells for energy harvesting.

    PubMed

    Park, Hui Joon; Xu, Ting; Lee, Jae Yong; Ledbetter, Abram; Guo, L Jay

    2011-09-27

    Color filters are indispensable in most color display applications. In most cases, they are chemical pigment-based filters, which produce a particular color by absorbing its complementary color, and the absorbed energy is totally wasted. If the absorbed and wasted energy can be utilized, e.g., to generate electricity, innovative energy-efficient electronic media could be envisioned. Here we show photonic nanostructures incorporated with photovoltaics capable of producing desirable colors in the visible band and utilize the absorbed light to simultaneously generate electrical powers. In contrast to the traditional colorant-based filters, these devices offer great advantages for electro-optic applications.

  10. A hydrostatic pressure-cycle energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shafer, Michael W.; Hahn, Gregory; Morgan, Eric

    2015-04-01

    There have been a number of new applications for energy harvesting with the ever-decreasing power consumption of microelectronic devices. In this paper we explore a new area of marine animal energy harvesting for use in powering tags known as bio-loggers. These devices record data about the animal or its surroundings, but have always had limited deployment times due to battery depletion. Reduced solar irradiance below the water's surface provides the impetus to explore other energy harvesting concepts beyond solar power for use on marine animals. We review existing tag technologies in relation to this application, specifically relating to energy consumption. Additionally, we propose a new idea for energy harvesting, using hydrostatic pressure changes as a source for energy production. We present initial testing results of a bench-top model and show that the daily energy harvesting potential from this technology can meet or exceed that consumed by current marine bio-logging tags. The application of this concept in the arena of bio-logging technology could substantially increase bio-logger deployment lifetimes, allowing for longitudinal studies over the course of multiple breeding and/or migration cycles.

  11. Solar Energy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eaton, William W.

    Presented is the utilization of solar radiation as an energy resource principally for the production of electricity. Included are discussions of solar thermal conversion, photovoltic conversion, wind energy, and energy from ocean temperature differences. Future solar energy plans, the role of solar energy in plant and fossil fuel production, and…

  12. Electrochemically driven mechanical energy harvesting.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sangtae; Choi, Soon Ju; Zhao, Kejie; Yang, Hui; Gobbi, Giorgia; Zhang, Sulin; Li, Ju

    2016-01-01

    Efficient mechanical energy harvesters enable various wearable devices and auxiliary energy supply. Here we report a novel class of mechanical energy harvesters via stress-voltage coupling in electrochemically alloyed electrodes. The device consists of two identical Li-alloyed Si as electrodes, separated by electrolyte-soaked polymer membranes. Bending-induced asymmetric stresses generate chemical potential difference, driving lithium ion flux from the compressed to the tensed electrode to generate electrical current. Removing the bending reverses ion flux and electrical current. Our thermodynamic analysis reveals that the ideal energy-harvesting efficiency of this device is dictated by the Poisson's ratio of the electrodes. For the thin-film-based energy harvester used in this study, the device has achieved a generating capacity of 15%. The device demonstrates a practical use of stress-composition-voltage coupling in electrochemically active alloys to harvest low-grade mechanical energies from various low-frequency motions, such as everyday human activities. PMID:26733282

  13. Electrochemically driven mechanical energy harvesting

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sangtae; Choi, Soon Ju; Zhao, Kejie; Yang, Hui; Gobbi, Giorgia; Zhang, Sulin; Li, Ju

    2016-01-01

    Efficient mechanical energy harvesters enable various wearable devices and auxiliary energy supply. Here we report a novel class of mechanical energy harvesters via stress–voltage coupling in electrochemically alloyed electrodes. The device consists of two identical Li-alloyed Si as electrodes, separated by electrolyte-soaked polymer membranes. Bending-induced asymmetric stresses generate chemical potential difference, driving lithium ion flux from the compressed to the tensed electrode to generate electrical current. Removing the bending reverses ion flux and electrical current. Our thermodynamic analysis reveals that the ideal energy-harvesting efficiency of this device is dictated by the Poisson's ratio of the electrodes. For the thin-film-based energy harvester used in this study, the device has achieved a generating capacity of 15%. The device demonstrates a practical use of stress-composition–voltage coupling in electrochemically active alloys to harvest low-grade mechanical energies from various low-frequency motions, such as everyday human activities. PMID:26733282

  14. Electrochemically driven mechanical energy harvesting.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sangtae; Choi, Soon Ju; Zhao, Kejie; Yang, Hui; Gobbi, Giorgia; Zhang, Sulin; Li, Ju

    2016-01-06

    Efficient mechanical energy harvesters enable various wearable devices and auxiliary energy supply. Here we report a novel class of mechanical energy harvesters via stress-voltage coupling in electrochemically alloyed electrodes. The device consists of two identical Li-alloyed Si as electrodes, separated by electrolyte-soaked polymer membranes. Bending-induced asymmetric stresses generate chemical potential difference, driving lithium ion flux from the compressed to the tensed electrode to generate electrical current. Removing the bending reverses ion flux and electrical current. Our thermodynamic analysis reveals that the ideal energy-harvesting efficiency of this device is dictated by the Poisson's ratio of the electrodes. For the thin-film-based energy harvester used in this study, the device has achieved a generating capacity of 15%. The device demonstrates a practical use of stress-composition-voltage coupling in electrochemically active alloys to harvest low-grade mechanical energies from various low-frequency motions, such as everyday human activities.

  15. Potential Ambient Energy-Harvesting Sources and Techniques

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yildiz, Faruk

    2009-01-01

    Ambient energy harvesting is also known as energy scavenging or power harvesting, and it is the process where energy is obtained from the environment. A variety of techniques are available for energy scavenging, including solar and wind powers, ocean waves, piezoelectricity, thermoelectricity, and physical motions. For example, some systems…

  16. Innovative Power-Augmentation-Guide-Vane Design of Wind-Solar Hybrid Renewable Energy Harvester for Urban High Rise Application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tong, Chong Wen; Zainon, M. Z.; Chew, Poh Sin; Kui, Soo Chun; Keong, Wee Seng; Chen, Pan Kok

    2010-06-01

    To generate greater quantities of energy from wind, the most efficient solution would be by increasing the wind speed. Also, due to the decreasing number of economic wind energy sites, there are plans to place wind turbines closer to populated areas. To site wind turbines out from rural areas, the current problems of wind turbines need to be resolved, especially visual impact, poor starting behaviour in low wind speeds, noise and danger caused by blade failure. In this paper, a patented wind-solar hybrid renewable energy harvester is introduced. It is a compact system that integrates and optimizes several green elements and can be built on the top (or between upper levels) of high rise buildings or structures. This system can be used in remote and urban areas, particularly at locations where the wind speed is lower and more turbulent. It overcomes the inferior aspect on the low wind speed by guiding and increasing the speed of the high altitude free-stream wind through fixed or yaw-able power-augmentation-guide-vane (PAGV) before entering the wind turbine (straight-bladed vertical axis wind turbine, VAWT in this project) at center portion. PAGV is a new and innovative design where its appearance or outer design can be blended into the building architecture without negative visual impact. From the studies, it is shown that the wind speed increment in the PAGV can be produced according to the Bernoulli's principle. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation is used to optimize the geometry of the PAGV and the simulation results demonstrated the technical possibility of this innovative concept. The PAGV replaces the free air-stream from wind by multiple channels of speed-increased and directional-controlled air-stream. With the PAGV, this lift-type VAWT can be self-started and its size can be reduced for a given power output. The design is also safer since the VAWT is enclosed by the PAGV. By integrating the PAGV with the VAWT (the diameter and height of PAGV are 2

  17. Bio-hybrid integrated system for wide-spectrum solar energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Kathleen; Erdman, Matthew; Quintana, Hope; Shelnutt, John; Nogan, John; Swartzentruber, B.; Martinez, Julio; Lavrova, Olga; Busani, Tito

    2014-03-01

    An integrated hybrid photovoltaic-thermoelectric system has been developed using multiple layers of organic photosensitizers on inorganic semiconductors in order to efficiently convert UV-visible and IR energy into electricity. The hot anode of n-type ZnO nanowires was fabricated using a thermal process on pre-seeded layer and results to be crystalline with a transmittance up to 92 % and a bandgap of 3.32 eV. The visible-UV light-active organic layer was deposited between the anode and cathode at room temperature using a layer-by-layer deposition onto ITO and ZnO and Bi2Te3 nanowires from aqueous solution. The organic layer, a cooperative binary ionic (CBI) solid is composed of oppositely charged porphyrin metal (Zn(II) and Sn(IV)(OH-)2) derivatives that are separately water soluble, but when combined form a virtually insoluble solid. The electron donor/acceptor properties (energy levels, band gaps) of the solid can be controlled by the choice of metals and the nature of the peripheral substituent groups of the porphyrin ring. The highly thermoelectric structure, which acts as a cold cathode, is composed of p-type Bi2Te3 nanowires with a thermoelectric efficiency (ZT) between ~0.7 to 1, values that are twice that expected for bulk Bi2Te3. Efficiency of the integrated device, was found to be 35 at 0.2 suns illumination and thermoelectric properties are enhanced by the charge transfer between the CBI and the Bi2Te3 is presented in terms of photo- and thermogenerated current and advantages of the low cost fabrication process is discussed.

  18. Multi-source energy harvester for wildlife tracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, You; Zuo, Lei; Zhou, Wanlu; Liang, Changwei; McCabe, Michael

    2014-03-01

    Sufficient power supply to run GPS machinery and transmit data on a long-term basis remains to be the key challenge for wildlife tracking technology. Traditional way of replacing battery periodically is not only time and money consuming but also dangerous to live-trapping wild animals. In this paper, an innovative wildlife tracking device with multi-source energy harvester with advantage of high efficiency and reliability is investigated and developed. This multi-source energy harvester entails a solar energy harvester and an innovative rotational electromagnetic energy harvester is mounted on the "wildlife tracking collar" which will remarkably extend the duration of wild life tracking. A feedforward and feedback control of DC-DC converter circuit is adopted to passively realize the Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) logic for the solar energy harvester. The rotational electromagnetic energy harvester can mechanically rectify the irregular bidirectional motion into unidirectional motion has been modeled and demonstrated.

  19. Solar energy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rapp, D.

    1981-01-01

    The book opens with a review of the patterns of energy use and resources in the United States, and an exploration of the potential of solar energy to supply some of this energy in the future. This is followed by background material on solar geometry, solar intensities, flat plate collectors, and economics. Detailed attention is then given to a variety of solar units and systems, including domestic hot water systems, space heating systems, solar-assisted heat pumps, intermediate temperature collectors, space heating/cooling systems, concentrating collectors for high temperatures, storage systems, and solar total energy systems. Finally, rights to solar access are discussed.

  20. Solar energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rapp, D.

    The book opens with a review of the patterns of energy use and resources in the United States, and an exploration of the potential of solar energy to supply some of this energy in the future. This is followed by background material on solar geometry, solar intensities, flat plate collectors, and economics. Detailed attention is then given to a variety of solar units and systems, including domestic hot water systems, space heating systems, solar-assisted heat pumps, intermediate temperature collectors, space heating/cooling systems, concentrating collectors for high temperatures, storage systems, and solar total energy systems. Finally, rights to solar access are discussed.

  1. Rotational Electromagnetic Energy Harvesting System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinulovic, Dragan; Brooks, Michael; Haug, Martin; Petrovic, Tomislav

    This paper presents development of the rotational electromagnetic energy harvesting transducer. The transducer is driven mechanically by pushing a button; therefore, the mechanical energy will be converted into electrical energy. The energy harvesting (EH) transducer consists of multilayer planar coils embedded in a PCB, multipolar NdFeB hard magnets, and a mechanical system for movement conversion. The EH transducer generate an energy of about 4 mJ at a load of 10 Ω. The maximum open circuit output voltage is as high as 2 V and the maximum short circuit output current is 800 mA.

  2. Momentum harvesting techniques for solar system travel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Willoughby, Alan J.

    1991-01-01

    Astronomers are lately estimating there are 400,000 earth visiting asteroids larger than 100 meters in diameter. These asteroids are uniquely accessible sources of building materials, propellants, oxygen, water, and minerals. They also constitute a huge momentum reserve, potentially usable for travel throughout the solar system. To use this momentum, these stealthy objects must be tracked and the ability to extract the desired momentum obtained. Momentum harvesting by momentum transfer from asteroid to spacecraft, and by using the momentum of the extraterrestrial material to help deliver itself to its destination is discussed. The purpose is neither to quantify nor justify the momentum exchange processes, but to stimulate collective imaginations with some intriguing possibilities which emerge when momentum as well as material is considered. A net and tether concept is the suggested means of asteroid capture, the basic momentum exchange process. The energy damping characteristics of the tether determines the velocity mismatch that can be tolerated, and hence the amount of momentum that can be harvested per capture. As the tether plays out of its reel, drag on the tether steadily accelerates the spacecraft and dilutes, in time, the would-be collision. A variety of concepts for riding and using asteroids after capture are introduced. The hitchhiker uses momentum transfer only. The beachcomber, the caveman, the swinger, the prospector, and the rock wrecker also take advantage of raw asteroid materials. The chemist and the hijacker go further, they process the asteroid into propellants. Or, an asteroid railway system could be constructed with each hijacked asteroid becoming a scheduled train. Travelers could board this space railway system assured that water, oxygen propellants, and shielding await them. Austere space travel could give way to comforts, with a speed and economy impossible without nature's gift of earth visiting asteroids.

  3. Multi-source energy harvesting for wireless SHM systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Mijin; Farinholt, Kevin M.; Anton, Steven; Lee, Jung-Ryul; Park, Gyuhae

    2013-03-01

    In wireless SHM systems, energy harvesting technology is essential for a reliable long-term energy supply for wireless sensors. Conventional wireless SHM systems using single source energy harvesting (vibration, solar, and etc.) have limitations because it could not be operated adequately without enough ambient energy present. To overcome this obstacle, multi-source energy harvesting which utilizes several ambient energy sources simultaneously is necessary to accumulate enough electrical energy to power wireless embedded sensor nodes. This study proposes a multi-source energy harvesting technique using a MISO (Multiple Input, Single Output) circuit board developed and studied by the authors. For multi-source energy harvesting, piezoelectric bimorph and electro-magnetic energy harvesters are excited at the first natural frequency of each harvester, 126.7 and 12.5 Hz, respectively. Then, generated voltage from each energy harvester is combined using the MISO circuit and then used to charge a 0.1 F capacitor. Combined energy harvesting results presented better performance than that of a single energy source, demonstrating that this multi-source system could be a promising energy harvesting solution for wireless sensing systems.

  4. A Hip Implant Energy Harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pancharoen, K.; Zhu, D.; Beeby, S. P.

    2014-11-01

    This paper presents a kinetic energy harvester designed to be embedded in a hip implant which aims to operate at a low frequency associated with body motion of patients. The prototype is designed based on the constrained volume available in a hip prosthesis and the challenge is to harvest energy from low frequency movements (< 1 Hz) which is an average frequency during free walking of a patient. The concept of magnetic-force-driven energy harvesting is applied to this prototype considering the hip movements during routine activities of patients. The magnetic field within the harvester was simulated using COMSOL. The simulated resonant frequency was around 30 Hz and the voltage induced in a coil was predicted to be 47.8 mV. A prototype of the energy harvester was fabricated and tested. A maximum open circuit voltage of 39.43 mV was obtained and the resonant frequency of 28 Hz was observed. Moreover, the power output of 0.96 μW was achieved with an optimum resistive load of 250Ω.

  5. Piezoelectric Water Drop Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al Ahmad, Mahmoud

    2014-02-01

    Piezoelectric materials convert mechanical deformation directly into electrical charges, which can be harvested and used to drive micropower electronic devices. The low power consumption of such systems on the scale of microwatts leads to the possibility of using harvested vibrational energy due to its almost universal nature. Vibrational energy harvested using piezoelectric cantilevers provides sufficient output for small-scale power applications. This work reports on vibrational energy harvesting from free-falling droplets at the tip of lead zirconate titanate piezoelectric-based cantilevers. The harvester incorporates a multimorph clamped-free cantilever made of lead zirconate titanate piezoelectric thick films. During the impact, the droplet's kinetic energy is transferred to the form of mechanical stress, forcing the piezoelectric structure to vibrate and thereby producing charges. Experimental results show an instantaneous drop-power of 2.15 mW cm-3 g-1. The scenario of a medium intensity of falling water drops, i.e., 200 drops per second, yielded a power of 0.48 W cm-3 g-1 per second.

  6. Piezoelectric MEMS for energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanno, Isaku

    2015-12-01

    Recently, piezoelectric MEMS have been intensively investigated to create new functional microdevices, and some of them have already been commercialized such as MEMS gyrosensors or miropumps of inkjet printer head. Piezoelectric energy harvesting is considered to be one of the promising future applications of piezoelectric MEMS. In this report, we introduce the deposition of the piezoelectric PZT thin films as well as lead-free KNN thin films. We fabricated piezoelectric energy harvesters of PZT and KNN thin films deposited on stainless steel cantilevers and compared their power generation performance.

  7. Nanotechnologies for efficient solar and wind energy harvesting and storage in smart-grid and transportation applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eldada, Louay

    2011-01-01

    A wide array of nanotechnologies can be used to improve the efficiency of energy harvest from the Sun and the wind, and the efficiency of energy storage in secondary batteries, for use in smart grid and transportation applications. High-quality nanostructured copper indium gallium selenide thin films help produce high-efficiency photovoltaic modules. Various nanotechnologies are utilized to improve the efficiency of power-generating wind turbines, including nanoparticle-containing lubricants that reduce the friction generated from the rotation of the turbines, nanocoatings for de-icing and self-cleaning technologies, and advanced nanocomposites that provide lighter and stronger wind blades. A number of nanotechnologies can be beneficial in advanced high-capacity secondary batteries for smart grid and transportation applications. These technologies include nanostructured carbon-nanotube-based and silicon-nanowire-based electrodes with ultrahigh surface areas, as well as nanoengineered β-alumina ceramic electrolytes with well-controlled grains, grain boundaries, and crystal orientation, which are used to boost the energy and power densities in secondary batteries such as lithium-ion, sodium-sulfur, flow, and dry cell batteries.

  8. Energy harvesting devices for harvesting energy from terahertz electromagnetic radiation

    DOEpatents

    Novack, Steven D.; Kotter, Dale K.; Pinhero, Patrick J.

    2012-10-09

    Methods, devices and systems for harvesting energy from electromagnetic radiation are provided including harvesting energy from electromagnetic radiation. In one embodiment, a device includes a substrate and one or more resonance elements disposed in or on the substrate. The resonance elements are configured to have a resonant frequency, for example, in at least one of the infrared, near-infrared and visible light spectra. A layer of conductive material may be disposed over a portion of the substrate to form a ground plane. An optical resonance gap or stand-off layer may be formed between the resonance elements and the ground plane. The optical resonance gap extends a distance between the resonance elements and the layer of conductive material approximately one-quarter wavelength of a wavelength of the at least one resonance element's resonant frequency. At least one energy transfer element may be associated with the at least one resonance element.

  9. Cantilever piezoelectric energy harvester with multiple cavities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srinivasulu Raju, S.; Umapathy, M.; Uma, G.

    2015-11-01

    Energy harvesting employing piezoelectric materials in mechanical structures such as cantilever beams, plates, diaphragms, etc, has been an emerging area of research in recent years. The research in this area is also focused on structural tailoring to improve the harvested power from the energy harvesters. Towards this aim, this paper presents a method for improving the harvested power from a cantilever piezoelectric energy harvester by introducing multiple rectangular cavities. A generalized model for a piezoelectric energy harvester with multiple rectangular cavities at a single section and two sections is developed. A method is suggested to optimize the thickness of the cavities and the number of cavities required to generate a higher output voltage for a given cantilever beam structure. The performance of the optimized energy harvesters is evaluated analytically and through experimentation. The simulation and experimental results show that the performance of the energy harvester can be increased with multiple cavities compared to the harvester with a single cavity.

  10. An energy-harvesting scheme utilizing Ga-rich CuIn(1-x)GaxSe2 quantum dots for dye-sensitized solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Chin-An; Huang, K. P.; Ho, S. T.; Huang, Mei-Wen; He-Hau, Jr.

    2012-09-01

    Ga-rich CuIn(1-x)GaxSe2 (CIGS) quantum dots (QDs) with a wide bandgap of 1.58 eV were utilized in dye-sensitized solar cells for energy harvesting. Ga-rich CIGS QDs at TiO2 photoanodes afford the recombination reduction and thus suppress the dark current, leading to the increase of short-circuit current from 14.47 to 15.27 mA.cm-2 and open-circuit voltage from 751 to 762 mV. This is due to well-adjusted conduction band minimum of Ga-rich CIGS QDs between that of TiO2 and excited state oxidation potential of N719, enhancing the photoelectron collection and suppressing electron back-transfer from TiO2 to oxidized redox species in the electrolyte.

  11. Principles of thermoacoustic energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avent, A. W.; Bowen, C. R.

    2015-11-01

    Thermoacoustics exploit a temperature gradient to produce powerful acoustic pressure waves. The technology has a key role to play in energy harvesting systems. A time-line in the development of thermoacoustics is presented from its earliest recorded example in glass blowing through to the development of the Sondhauss and Rijke tubes to Stirling engines and pulse-tube cryo-cooling. The review sets the current literature in context, identifies key publications and promising areas of research. The fundamental principles of thermoacoustic phenomena are explained; design challenges and factors influencing efficiency are explored. Thermoacoustic processes involve complex multi-physical coupling and transient, highly non-linear relationships which are computationally expensive to model; appropriate numerical modelling techniques and options for analyses are presented. Potential methods of harvesting the energy in the acoustic waves are also examined.

  12. Motorcycle waste heat energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlichting, Alexander D.; Anton, Steven R.; Inman, Daniel J.

    2008-03-01

    Environmental concerns coupled with the depletion of fuel sources has led to research on ethanol, fuel cells, and even generating electricity from vibrations. Much of the research in these areas is stalling due to expensive or environmentally contaminating processes, however recent breakthroughs in materials and production has created a surge in research on waste heat energy harvesting devices. The thermoelectric generators (TEGs) used in waste heat energy harvesting are governed by the Thermoelectric, or Seebeck, effect, generating electricity from a temperature gradient. Some research to date has featured platforms such as heavy duty diesel trucks, model airplanes, and automobiles, attempting to either eliminate heavy batteries or the alternator. A motorcycle is another platform that possesses some very promising characteristics for waste heat energy harvesting, mainly because the exhaust pipes are exposed to significant amounts of air flow. A 1995 Kawasaki Ninja 250R was used for these trials. The module used in these experiments, the Melcor HT3-12-30, produced an average of 0.4694 W from an average temperature gradient of 48.73 °C. The mathematical model created from the Thermoelectric effect equation and the mean Seebeck coefficient displayed by the module produced an average error from the experimental data of 1.75%. Although the module proved insufficient to practically eliminate the alternator on a standard motorcycle, the temperature data gathered as well as the examination of a simple, yet accurate, model represent significant steps in the process of creating a TEG capable of doing so.

  13. Solar Energy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Building Design and Construction, 1977

    1977-01-01

    Describes 21 completed projects now using solar energy for heating, cooling, or electricity. Included are elementary schools in Atlanta and San Diego, a technical school in Detroit, and Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. (MLF)

  14. Ionic and electronic behaviors of earth-abundant semiconductor materials and their applications toward solar energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, Matthew T.

    Semiconductor devices offer promise for efficient conversion of sunlight into other useful forms of energy, in either photovoltaic or photoelectrochemical cell configurations to produce electrical power or chemical energy, respectively. This dissertation examines ionic and electronic phenomena in some candidate semiconductors and seeks to understand their implications toward solar energy conversion applications. First, copper sulfide (Cu2S) was examined as a candidate photovoltaic material. It was discovered that its unique property of cation diffusion allows the room-temperature synthesis of vertically-aligned nanowire arrays, a morphology which facilitates study of the diffusion processes. This diffusivity was found to induce hysteresis in the electronic behavior, leading to the phenomena of resistive switching and negative differential resistance. The Cu2S were then demonstrated as morphological templates for solid-state conversion into different types of heterostructures, including segmented and rod-in-tube morphologies. Near-complete conversion to ZnS, enabled by the out-diffusion of Cu back into the substrate, was also achieved. While the ion diffusion property likely hinders the reliability of Cu 2S in photovoltaic applications, it was shown to enable useful electronic and ionic behaviors. Secondly, iron oxide (Fe2O3, hematite) was examined as a photoanode for photoelectrochemical water splitting. Its energetic limitations toward the water electrolysis reactions were addressed using two approaches aimed at achieving greater photovoltages and thereby improved water splitting efficiencies. In the first, a built-in n-p junction produced an internal field to drive charge separation and generate photovoltage. In the second, Fe 2O3 was deposited onto a smaller band gap material, silicon, to form a device capable of producing enhanced total photovoltage by a dual-absorber Z-scheme mechanism. Both approaches resulted in a cathodic shift of the photocurrent onset

  15. Power management for energy harvesting wireless sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arms, S. W.; Townsend, C. P.; Churchill, D. L.; Galbreath, J. H.; Mundell, S. W.

    2005-05-01

    The objective of this work was to demonstrate smart wireless sensing nodes capable of operation at extremely low power levels. These systems were designed to be compatible with energy harvesting systems using piezoelectric materials and/or solar cells. The wireless sensing nodes included a microprocessor, on-board memory, sensing means (1000 ohm foil strain gauge), sensor signal conditioning, 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.15.4 radio transceiver, and rechargeable battery. Extremely low power consumption sleep currents combined with periodic, timed wake-up was used to minimize the average power consumption. Furthermore, we deployed pulsed sensor excitation and microprocessor power control of the signal conditioning elements to minimize the sensors" average contribution to power draw. By sleeping in between samples, we were able to demonstrate extremely low average power consumption. At 10 Hz, current consumption was 300 microamps at 3 VDC (900 microwatts); at 5 Hz: 400 microwatts, at 1 Hz: 90 microwatts. When the RF stage was not used, but data were logged to memory, consumption was further reduced. Piezoelectric strain energy harvesting systems delivered ~2000 microwatts under low level vibration conditions. Output power levels were also measured from two miniature solar cells; which provided a wide range of output power (~100 to 1400 microwatts), depending on the light type & distance from the source. In summary, system power consumption may be reduced by: 1) removing the load from the energy harvesting & storage elements while charging, 2) by using sleep modes in between samples, 3) pulsing excitation to the sensing and signal conditioning elements in between samples, and 4) by recording and/or averaging, rather than frequently transmitting, sensor data.

  16. Fundamental Limits to Nonlinear Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haji Hosseinloo, Ashkan; Turitsyn, Konstantin

    2015-12-01

    Linear and nonlinear vibration energy harvesting has been the focus of considerable research in recent years. However, fundamental limits on the harvestable energy of a harvester subjected to an arbitrary excitation force and different constraints is not yet fully understood. Understanding these limits is not only essential for an assessment of the technology potential, but it also provides a broader perspective on the current harvesting mechanisms and guidance in their improvement. Here, we derive the fundamental limits on the output power of an ideal energy harvester for arbitrary excitation waveforms and build on the current analysis framework for the simple computation of this limit for more sophisticated setups. We show that the optimal harvester maximizes the harvested energy through a mechanical analog of a buy-low-sell-high strategy. We also propose a nonresonant passive latch-assisted harvester to realize this strategy for an effective harvesting. It is shown that the proposed harvester harvests energy more effectively than its linear and bistable counterparts over a wider range of excitation frequencies and amplitudes. The buy-low-sell-high strategy also reveals why the conventional bistable harvester works well at low-frequency excitation.

  17. Design, Fabrication and Characterization of MIM Diodes and Frequency Selective Thermal Emitters for Solar Energy Harvesting and Detection Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Saumya

    Energy harvesting using rectennas for infrared radiation continues to be a challenge due to the lack of fast switching diodes capable of rectification at THz frequencies. Metal insulator metal diodes which may be used at 30 THz must show adequate nonlinearity for small signal rectification such as 30 mV. In a rectenna assembly, the voltage signal received as an output from a single nanoantenna can be as small as ~30microV. Thus, only a hybrid array of nanoantennas can be sufficient to provide a signal in the ~30mV range for the diode to be able to rectify around 30THz. A metal-insulator-metal diode with highly nonlinear I-V characteristics is required in order for such small signal rectification to be possible. Such diode fabrication was found to be faced with two major fabrication challenges. The first one being the lack of a precisely controlled deposition process to allow a pinhole free insulator deposition less than 3nm in thickness. Another major challenge is the deposition of a top metal contact on the underlying insulating thin film. As a part of this research study, most of the MIM diodes were fabricated using Langmuir Blodgett monolayers deposited on a thin Ni film that was sputter coated on a silicon wafer. UV induced polymerization of the Langmuir Blodgett thin film was used to allow intermolecular crosslinking. A metal top contact was sputtered onto the underlying Langmuir Blodgett film assembly. In addition to material characterization of all the individual films using IR, UV-VIS spectroscopy, electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy, the I-V characteristics, resistance, current density, rectification ratio and responsivity with respect to the bias voltage were also measured for the electrical characterization of these MIM diodes. Further improvement in the diode rectification ratio and responsivity was obtained with Langmuir Blodgett films grown by the use of horizontally oriented organic molecules, due to a smaller tunneling distance that

  18. Porous ferroelectrics for energy harvesting applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roscow, J.; Zhang, Y.; Taylor, J.; Bowen, C. R.

    2015-11-01

    This paper provides an overview of energy harvesting using ferroelectric materials, with a particular focus on the energy harvesting capabilities of porous ferroelectric ceramics for both piezo- and pyroelectric harvesting. The benefits of introducing porosity into ferro- electrics such as lead zirconate titanate (PZT) has been known for over 30 years, but the potential advantages for energy harvesting from both ambient vibrations and temperature fluctuations have not been studied in depth. The article briefly discusses piezoelectric and pyro- electric energy harvesting, before evaluating the potential benefits of porous materials for increasing energy harvesting figures of merits and electromechanical/electrothermal coupling factors. Established processing routes are evaluated in terms of the final porous structure and the resulting effects on the electrical, thermal and mechanical properties.

  19. Vibration energy harvester optimization using artificial intelligence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hadas, Z.; Ondrusek, C.; Kurfurst, J.; Singule, V.

    2011-06-01

    This paper deals with an optimization study of a vibration energy harvester. This harvester can be used as autonomous source of electrical energy for remote or wireless applications, which are placed in environment excited by ambient mechanical vibrations. The ambient energy of vibrations is usually on very low level but the harvester can be used as alternative source of energy for electronic devices with an expected low level of power consumption of several mW. The optimized design of the vibration energy harvester was based on previous development and the sensitivity of harvester design was improved for effective harvesting from mechanical vibrations in aeronautic applications. The vibration energy harvester is a mechatronic system which generates electrical energy from ambient vibrations due to precision tuning up generator parameters. The optimization study for maximization of harvested power or minimization of volume and weight are the main goals of our development. The optimization study of such complex device is complicated therefore artificial intelligence methods can be used for tuning up optimal harvester parameters.

  20. Solar Energy: Solar System Economics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knapp, Henry H., III

    This module on solar system economics is one of six in a series intended for use as supplements to currently available materials on solar energy and energy conservation. Together with the recommended texts and references (sources are identified), these modules provide an effective introduction to energy conservation and solar energy technologies.…

  1. An Energy Aware Adaptive Sampling Algorithm for Energy Harvesting WSN with Energy Hungry Sensors.

    PubMed

    Srbinovski, Bruno; Magno, Michele; Edwards-Murphy, Fiona; Pakrashi, Vikram; Popovici, Emanuel

    2016-03-28

    Wireless sensor nodes have a limited power budget, though they are often expected to be functional in the field once deployed for extended periods of time. Therefore, minimization of energy consumption and energy harvesting technology in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are key tools for maximizing network lifetime, and achieving self-sustainability. This paper proposes an energy aware Adaptive Sampling Algorithm (ASA) for WSN with power hungry sensors and harvesting capabilities, an energy management technique that can be implemented on any WSN platform with enough processing power to execute the proposed algorithm. An existing state-of-the-art ASA developed for wireless sensor networks with power hungry sensors is optimized and enhanced to adapt the sampling frequency according to the available energy of the node. The proposed algorithm is evaluated using two in-field testbeds that are supplied by two different energy harvesting sources (solar and wind). Simulation and comparison between the state-of-the-art ASA and the proposed energy aware ASA (EASA) in terms of energy durability are carried out using in-field measured harvested energy (using both wind and solar sources) and power hungry sensors (ultrasonic wind sensor and gas sensors). The simulation results demonstrate that using ASA in combination with an energy aware function on the nodes can drastically increase the lifetime of a WSN node and enable self-sustainability. In fact, the proposed EASA in conjunction with energy harvesting capability can lead towards perpetual WSN operation and significantly outperform the state-of-the-art ASA.

  2. Development of MEMS based pyroelectric thermal energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunter, Scott R.; Lavrik, Nickolay V.; Bannuru, Thirumalesh; Mostafa, Salwa; Rajic, Slo; Datskos, Panos G.

    2011-06-01

    The efficient conversion of waste thermal energy into electrical energy is of considerable interest due to the huge sources of low-grade thermal energy available in technologically advanced societies. Our group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is developing a new type of high efficiency thermal waste heat energy converter that can be used to actively cool electronic devices, concentrated photovoltaic solar cells, computers and large waste heat producing systems, while generating electricity that can be used to power remote monitoring sensor systems, or recycled to provide electrical power. The energy harvester is a temperature cycled pyroelectric thermal-to-electrical energy harvester that can be used to generate electrical energy from thermal waste streams with temperature gradients of only a few degrees. The approach uses a resonantly driven pyroelectric capacitive bimorph cantilever structure that potentially has energy conversion efficiencies several times those of any previously demonstrated pyroelectric or thermoelectric thermal energy harvesters. The goals of this effort are to demonstrate the feasibility of fabricating high conversion efficiency MEMS based pyroelectric energy converters that can be fabricated into scalable arrays using well known microscale fabrication techniques and materials. These fabrication efforts are supported by detailed modeling studies of the pyroelectric energy converter structures to demonstrate the energy conversion efficiencies and electrical energy generation capabilities of these energy converters. This paper reports on the modeling, fabrication and testing of test structures and single element devices that demonstrate the potential of this technology for the development of high efficiency thermal-to-electrical energy harvesters.

  3. Evaluating vehicular-induced bridge vibrations for energy harvesting applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reichenbach, Matthew; Fasl, Jeremiah; Samaras, Vasilis A.; Wood, Sharon; Helwig, Todd; Lindenberg, Richard

    2012-04-01

    Highway bridges are vital links in the transportation network in the United States. Identifying possible safety problems in the approximately 600,000 bridges across the country is generally accomplished through labor-intensive, visual inspections. Ongoing research sponsored by NIST seeks to improve inspection practices by providing real-time, continuous monitoring technology for steel bridges. A wireless sensor network with a service life of ten years that is powered by an integrated energy harvester is targeted. In order to achieve the target ten-year life for the monitoring system, novel approaches to energy harvesting for use in recharging batteries are investigated. Three main sources of energy are evaluated: (a) vibrational energy, (b) solar energy, and (c) wind energy. Assessing the energy produced from vehicular-induced vibrations and converted through electromagnetic induction is the focus of this paper. The goal of the study is to process acceleration data and analyze the vibrational response of steel bridges to moving truck loads. Through spectral analysis and harvester modeling, the feasibility of vibration-based energy harvesting for longterm monitoring can be assessed. The effects of bridge conditions, ambient temperature, truck traffic patterns, and harvester position on the power content of the vibrations are investigated. With sensor nodes continually recharged, the proposed real-time monitoring system will operate off the power grid, thus reducing life cycle costs and enhancing inspection practices for state DOTs. This paper will present the results of estimating the vibration energy of a steel bridge in Texas.

  4. Collecting Solar Energy. Solar Energy Education Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Brien, Alexander

    This solar energy learning module for use with junior high school students offers a list of activities, a pre-post test, job titles, basic solar energy vocabulary, and diagrams of solar energy collectors and installations. The purpose is to familiarize students with applications of solar energy and titles of jobs where this knowledge could be…

  5. Hybrid piezoelectric energy harvesting transducer system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Xu, Tian-Bing (Inventor); Jiang, Xiaoning (Inventor); Su, Ji (Inventor); Rehrig, Paul W. (Inventor); Hackenberger, Wesley S. (Inventor)

    2008-01-01

    A hybrid piezoelectric energy harvesting transducer system includes: (a) first and second symmetric, pre-curved piezoelectric elements mounted separately on a frame so that their concave major surfaces are positioned opposite to each other; and (b) a linear piezoelectric element mounted separately on the frame and positioned between the pre-curved piezoelectric elements. The pre-curved piezoelectric elements and the linear piezoelectric element are spaced from one another and communicate with energy harvesting circuitry having contact points on the frame. The hybrid piezoelectric energy harvesting transducer system has a higher electromechanical energy conversion efficiency than any known piezoelectric transducer.

  6. Piezoelectric energy harvesting computer controlled test bench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vázquez-Rodriguez, M.; Jiménez, F. J.; de Frutos, J.; Alonso, D.

    2016-09-01

    In this paper a new computer controlled (C.C.) laboratory test bench is presented. The patented test bench is made up of a C.C. road traffic simulator, C.C. electronic hardware involved in automating measurements, and test bench control software interface programmed in LabVIEW™. Our research is focused on characterizing electronic energy harvesting piezoelectric-based elements in road traffic environments to extract (or "harvest") maximum power. In mechanical to electrical energy conversion, mechanical impacts or vibrational behavior are commonly used, and several major problems need to be solved to perform optimal harvesting systems including, but no limited to, primary energy source modeling, energy conversion, and energy storage. It is described a novel C.C. test bench that obtains, in an accurate and automatized process, a generalized linear equivalent electrical model of piezoelectric elements and piezoelectric based energy store harvesting circuits in order to scale energy generation with multiple devices integrated in different topologies.

  7. Nonlinear piezomagnetoelastic harvester array for broadband energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Upadrashta, Deepesh; Yang, Yaowen

    2016-08-01

    This article proposes an array of nonlinear piezomagnetoelastic energy harvesters (NPEHs) for scavenging electrical energy from broadband vibrations with low amplitudes (<2 m/s2). The array consists of monostable NPEHs combined to generate useful power output (˜100 μW) over wide bandwidth. The nonlinearity in each of the NPEHs is induced by the magnetic interaction between an embedded magnet in the tip mass of cantilever and a fixed magnet clamped to the rigid platform. The dynamic responses of two NPEHs, one with attractive configuration and the other with repulsive configuration, are combined to achieve a bandwidth of 3.3 Hz at a power level of 100 μW. A parametric study is carried out to obtain the gap distances between the magnets to achieve wide bandwidth. Experiments are performed to validate the proposed idea, the theoretical predictions, and to demonstrate the advantage of array of NPEHs over the array of linear piezoelectric energy harvesters (LPEHs). The experiments have clearly shown the advantage of NPEH array over its linear counterpart under both harmonic and random excitations. Approximately, 100% increase in the operation bandwidth is achieved by the NPEH array at harmonic excitation level of 2 m/s2. The NPEH array exhibits up to 80% improvement in the accumulated energy under random excitation when compared with the LPEH array. Furthermore, the performance of NPEH array with series and parallel connections between the individual harvesters using standard AC/DC interface circuits is also investigated and compared with its linear counterpart.

  8. Thermal Energy Harvesting from Wildlife

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woias, P.; Schule, F.; Bäumke, E.; Mehne, P.; Kroener, M.

    2014-11-01

    In this paper we present the measurement of temperature differences between the ambient air and the body temperature of a sheep (Heidschnucke) and its applicability for thermoelectric energy harvesting from livestock, demonstrated via the test of a specially tailored TEG system in a real-life experiment. In three measurement campaigns average temperature differences were found between 2.5 K and 3.5 K. Analytical models and FEM simulations were carried out to determine the actual thermal resistance of the sheep's fur from comparisons with the temperature measurements. With these data a thermoelectric (TEG) generator was built in a thermally optimized housing with adapted heats sink. The whole TEG system was mounted to a collar, including a data logger for recording temperature and TEG voltage. First measurements at the neck of a sheep were accomplished, with a calculated maximal average power output of 173 μW at the TEG. Taking the necessity of a low-voltage step-up converter into account, an electric output power of 54 μW is available which comes close to the power consumption of a low-power VHF tracking system.

  9. Energy harvesting via ferrofluidic induction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monroe, J. G.; Vasquez, Erick S.; Aspin, Zachary S.; Fairley, John D.; Walters, Keisha B.; Berg, Matthew J.; Thompson, Scott M.

    2015-05-01

    A series of experiments were conducted to investigate and characterize the concept of ferrofluidic induction - a process for generating electrical power via cyclic oscillation of ferrofluid (iron-based nanofluid) through a solenoid. Experimental parameters include: number of bias magnets, magnet spacing, solenoid core, fluid pulse frequency and ferrofluid-particle diameter. A peristaltic pump was used to cyclically drive two aqueous ferrofluids, consisting of 7-10 nm iron-oxide particles and commercially-available hydroxyl-coated magnetic beads (~800 nm), respectively. The solutions were pulsated at 3, 6, and 10 Hz through 3.2 mm internal diameter Tygon tubing. A 1000 turn copper-wire solenoid was placed around the tube 45 cm away from the pump. The experimental results indicate that the ferrofluid is capable of inducing a maximum electric potential of approximately +/- 20 μV across the solenoid during its cyclic passage. As the frequency of the pulsating flow increased, the ferro-nanoparticle diameter increased, or the bias magnet separation decreased, the induced voltage increased. The type of solenoid core material (copper or plastic) did not have a discernible effect on induction. These results demonstrate the feasibility of ferrofluidic induction and provide insight into its dependence on fluid/flow parameters. Such fluidic/magneto-coupling can be exploited for energy harvesting and/or conversion system design for a variety of applications.

  10. Harvesting renewable energy from Earth's mid-infrared emissions.

    PubMed

    Byrnes, Steven J; Blanchard, Romain; Capasso, Federico

    2014-03-18

    It is possible to harvest energy from Earth's thermal infrared emission into outer space. We calculate the thermodynamic limit for the amount of power available, and as a case study, we plot how this limit varies daily and seasonally in a location in Oklahoma. We discuss two possible ways to make such an emissive energy harvester (EEH): A thermal EEH (analogous to solar thermal power generation) and an optoelectronic EEH (analogous to photovoltaic power generation). For the latter, we propose using an infrared-frequency rectifying antenna, and we discuss its operating principles, efficiency limits, system design considerations, and possible technological implementations.

  11. Harvesting renewable energy from Earth's mid-infrared emissions.

    PubMed

    Byrnes, Steven J; Blanchard, Romain; Capasso, Federico

    2014-03-18

    It is possible to harvest energy from Earth's thermal infrared emission into outer space. We calculate the thermodynamic limit for the amount of power available, and as a case study, we plot how this limit varies daily and seasonally in a location in Oklahoma. We discuss two possible ways to make such an emissive energy harvester (EEH): A thermal EEH (analogous to solar thermal power generation) and an optoelectronic EEH (analogous to photovoltaic power generation). For the latter, we propose using an infrared-frequency rectifying antenna, and we discuss its operating principles, efficiency limits, system design considerations, and possible technological implementations. PMID:24591604

  12. Implementation of a piezoelectric energy harvester in railway health monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jingcheng; Jang, Shinae; Tang, Jiong

    2014-03-01

    With development of wireless sensor technology, wireless sensor network has shown a great potential for railway health monitoring. However, how to supply continuous power to the wireless sensor nodes is one of the critical issues in long-term full-scale deployment of the wireless smart sensors. Some energy harvesting methodologies have been available including solar, vibration, wind, etc; among them, vibration-based energy harvester using piezoelectric material showed the potential for converting ambient vibration energy to electric energy in railway health monitoring even for underground subway systems. However, the piezoelectric energy harvester has two major problems including that it could only generate small amount of energy, and that it should match the exact narrow band natural frequency with the excitation frequency. To overcome these problems, a wide band piezoelectric energy harvester, which could generate more power on various frequencies regions, has been designed and validated with experimental test. Then it was applied to a full-scale field test using actual railway train. The power generation of the wide band piezoelectric array has been compared to a narrow-band, resonant-based, piezoelectric energy harvester.

  13. Cooperative energy harvesting for long-endurance autonomous vehicle teams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Page, S. F.; Rogers, J. D.; May, K.; Myatt, D. R.; Hickman, D.; Smith, M. I.

    2010-04-01

    This paper considers the exploitation of energy harvesting technologies for teams of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs). Traditionally, the optimisation of information gathering tasks such as searching for and tracking new objects, and platform level power management, are only integrated at a mission-management level. In order to truly exploit new energy harvesting technologies which are emerging in both the commercial and military domains (for example the 'EATR' robot and next-generation solar panels), the sensor management and power management processes must be directly coupled. This paper presents a novel non-myopic sensor management framework which addresses this issue through the use of a predictive platform energy model. Energy harvesting opportunities are modelled using a dynamic spatial-temporal energy map and sensor and platform actions are optimised according to global team utility. The framework allows the assessment of a variety of different energy harvesting technologies and perceptive tasks. In this paper, two representative scenarios are used to parameterise the model with specific efficiency and energy abundance figures. Simulation results indicate that the integration of intelligent power management with traditional sensor management processes can significantly increase operational endurance and, in some cases, simultaneously improve surveillance or tracking performance. Furthermore, the framework is used to assess the potential impact of energy harvesting technologies at various efficiency levels. This provides important insight into the potential benefits that intelligent power management can offer in relation to improving system performance and reducing the dependency on fossil fuels and logistical support.

  14. Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting from Transient Ambient Temperature Gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moser, André; Erd, Metin; Kostic, Milos; Cobry, Keith; Kroener, Michael; Woias, Peter

    2012-06-01

    We examine a thermoelectric harvester that converts electrical energy from the naturally occurring temperature difference between ambient air and large thermal storage capacitors such as building walls or the soil. For maximum power output, the harvester design is implemented in two steps: source matching of the thermal and electrical interfaces to the energy source (system level) followed by load matching of the generator to these interfaces (subsystem level). Therefore, we measure thermal source properties such as the temperature difference, the air velocity, and the cutoff frequency in two application scenarios (road tunnel and office building). We extend a stationary model of the harvester into the time domain to account for transient behavior of the source. Based on the model and the source measurements, we perform the source and load matching. The resulting harvester consists of a pin fin heat sink with a thermal resistance of 6.2 K/W and a cutoff frequency 2.5 times greater than that of the source, a thermoelectric generator, and a DC/DC step-up converter starting at a total temperature difference of only Δ T = 1.2 K. In a final road tunnel field test, this optimized harvester converts 70 mJ of electrical energy per day without any direct solar irradiation. The energy provided by the harvester enables 415 data transmissions from a wireless sensor node per day.

  15. Nonlinear vibration energy harvester using diamagnetic levitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, L.; Yuan, F. G.

    2011-05-01

    This letter proposes a nonlinear vibration energy harvester based on stabilized magnetic levitation using diamagnetic. Restoring forces induced by the magnetic field in harvesting vibration energy is employed instead of the forces introduced by conventional mechanical suspensions; therefore dissipation of vibration energy into heat through mechanical suspensions is eliminated. The core of the design consists of two spiral coils made of diamagnetic materials, which serve dual purposes: providing nonlinear restoring force and harnessing eddy current to power external circuits. From the theoretical analysis presented, the proposed harvester has the potential to provide wideband power outputs in low frequency range.

  16. Energy harvesting for dielectric elastomer sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Iain A.; Illenberger, Patrin; O'Brien, Ben M.

    2016-04-01

    Soft and stretchy dielectric elastomer (DE) sensors can measure large strains on robotic devices and people. DE strain measurement requires electric energy to run the sensors. Energy is also required for information processing and telemetering of data to phone or computer. Batteries are expensive and recharging is inconvenient. One solution is to harvest energy from the strains that the sensor is exposed to. For this to work the harvester must also be wearable, soft, unobtrusive and profitable from the energy perspective; with more energy harvested than used for strain measurement. A promising way forward is to use the DE sensor as its own energy harvester. Our study indicates that it is feasible for a basic DE sensor to provide its own power to drive its own sensing signal. However telemetry and computation that are additional to this will require substantially more power than the sensing circuit. A strategy would involve keeping the number of Bluetooth data chirps low during the entire period of energy harvesting and to limit transmission to a fraction of the total time spent harvesting energy. There is much still to do to balance the energy budget. This will be a challenge but when we succeed it will open the door to autonomous DE multi-sensor systems without the requirement for battery recharge.

  17. Harvesting Vibrational Energy Using Material Work Functions

    PubMed Central

    Varpula, Aapo; Laakso, Sampo J.; Havia, Tahvo; Kyynäräinen, Jukka; Prunnila, Mika

    2014-01-01

    Vibration energy harvesters scavenge energy from mechanical vibrations to energise low power electronic devices. In this work, we report on vibration energy harvesting scheme based on the charging phenomenon occurring naturally between two bodies with different work functions. Such work function energy harvester (WFEH) is similar to electrostatic energy harvester with the fundamental distinction that neither external power supplies nor electrets are needed. A theoretical model and description of different operation modes of WFEHs are presented. The WFEH concept is tested with macroscopic experiments, which agree well with the model. The feasibility of miniaturizing WFEHs is shown by simulating a realistic MEMS device. The WFEH can be operated as a charge pump that pushes charge and energy into an energy storage element. We show that such an operation mode is highly desirable for applications and that it can be realised with either a charge shuttle or with switches. The WFEH is shown to give equal or better output power in comparison to traditional electrostatic harvesters. Our findings indicate that WFEH has great potential in energy harvesting applications. PMID:25348004

  18. Harvesting vibrational energy using material work functions.

    PubMed

    Varpula, Aapo; Laakso, Sampo J; Havia, Tahvo; Kyynäräinen, Jukka; Prunnila, Mika

    2014-01-01

    Vibration energy harvesters scavenge energy from mechanical vibrations to energise low power electronic devices. In this work, we report on vibration energy harvesting scheme based on the charging phenomenon occurring naturally between two bodies with different work functions. Such work function energy harvester (WFEH) is similar to electrostatic energy harvester with the fundamental distinction that neither external power supplies nor electrets are needed. A theoretical model and description of different operation modes of WFEHs are presented. The WFEH concept is tested with macroscopic experiments, which agree well with the model. The feasibility of miniaturizing WFEHs is shown by simulating a realistic MEMS device. The WFEH can be operated as a charge pump that pushes charge and energy into an energy storage element. We show that such an operation mode is highly desirable for applications and that it can be realised with either a charge shuttle or with switches. The WFEH is shown to give equal or better output power in comparison to traditional electrostatic harvesters. Our findings indicate that WFEH has great potential in energy harvesting applications. PMID:25348004

  19. Harvesting vibrational energy using material work functions.

    PubMed

    Varpula, Aapo; Laakso, Sampo J; Havia, Tahvo; Kyynäräinen, Jukka; Prunnila, Mika

    2014-10-28

    Vibration energy harvesters scavenge energy from mechanical vibrations to energise low power electronic devices. In this work, we report on vibration energy harvesting scheme based on the charging phenomenon occurring naturally between two bodies with different work functions. Such work function energy harvester (WFEH) is similar to electrostatic energy harvester with the fundamental distinction that neither external power supplies nor electrets are needed. A theoretical model and description of different operation modes of WFEHs are presented. The WFEH concept is tested with macroscopic experiments, which agree well with the model. The feasibility of miniaturizing WFEHs is shown by simulating a realistic MEMS device. The WFEH can be operated as a charge pump that pushes charge and energy into an energy storage element. We show that such an operation mode is highly desirable for applications and that it can be realised with either a charge shuttle or with switches. The WFEH is shown to give equal or better output power in comparison to traditional electrostatic harvesters. Our findings indicate that WFEH has great potential in energy harvesting applications.

  20. Harvesting Vibrational Energy Using Material Work Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varpula, Aapo; Laakso, Sampo J.; Havia, Tahvo; Kyynäräinen, Jukka; Prunnila, Mika

    2014-10-01

    Vibration energy harvesters scavenge energy from mechanical vibrations to energise low power electronic devices. In this work, we report on vibration energy harvesting scheme based on the charging phenomenon occurring naturally between two bodies with different work functions. Such work function energy harvester (WFEH) is similar to electrostatic energy harvester with the fundamental distinction that neither external power supplies nor electrets are needed. A theoretical model and description of different operation modes of WFEHs are presented. The WFEH concept is tested with macroscopic experiments, which agree well with the model. The feasibility of miniaturizing WFEHs is shown by simulating a realistic MEMS device. The WFEH can be operated as a charge pump that pushes charge and energy into an energy storage element. We show that such an operation mode is highly desirable for applications and that it can be realised with either a charge shuttle or with switches. The WFEH is shown to give equal or better output power in comparison to traditional electrostatic harvesters. Our findings indicate that WFEH has great potential in energy harvesting applications.

  1. Light-harvesting materials: Soft support for energy conversion

    SciTech Connect

    Stolley, Ryan M.; Helm, Monte L.

    2014-11-10

    To convert solar energy into viable fuel sources, coupling light-harvesting materials to catalysts is a critical challenge. Now, coupling between an organic supramolecular hydrogel and a non precious metal catalyst has been demonstrated to be effective for photocatalytic H2 production. Ryan M. Stolley and Monte L. Helm are at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA, USA 99352. PNNL is operated by Battelle for the US Department of Energy. e-mail: Monte.Helm@pnnl.gov

  2. Investigation of Energy Harvesting Using Flapping Foils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mivehchi, Amin; Persichetti, Amanda; Dunham, Brandon; Dahl, Jason M.

    2013-11-01

    When harvesting kinetic energy using a flapping foil, the separation of coherent structures in the wake is crucial for determining forces on the body. Applications for utilizing energy harvesting with a flapping foil include powering of local, low power equipment and recharging AUV batteries that use flapping foils for propulsion and maneuvering. In each of these cases, it is critical to accurately predict the physical behavior and location of vortices in relation to the motion of the body in order to maximize energy output. A two-dimensional open source boundary data immersion method (LilyPad) is used for simulating the flapping motion of a foil for energy harvesting in a current. Forced motion of the flapping body indicates theoretical efficiencies for energy harvesting near 43 percent under specific flapping conditions. A simple control scheme based on pressure sensing on the surface of the foil is developed to control pitch of the foil while energy harvesting occurs in the heave direction. The control scheme is tested through real time numerical simulation. Comparisons are made with physical laboratory experiments, demonstrating high efficiencies in energy harvesting.

  3. Solar energy collector

    DOEpatents

    Brin, Raymond L.; Pace, Thomas L.

    1978-01-01

    The invention relates to a solar energy collector comprising solar energy absorbing material within chamber having a transparent wall, solar energy being transmitted through the transparent wall, and efficiently absorbed by the absorbing material, for transfer to a heat transfer fluid. The solar energy absorbing material, of generally foraminous nature, absorbs and transmits the solar energy with improved efficiency.

  4. Solar Energy and You.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conservation and Renewable Energy Inquiry and Referral Service (DOE), Silver Spring, MD.

    This booklet provides an introduction to solar energy by discussing: (1) how a home is heated; (2) how solar energy can help in the heating process; (3) the characteristics of passive solar houses; (4) the characteristics of active solar houses; (5) how solar heat is stored; and (6) other uses of solar energy. Also provided are 10 questions to…

  5. Internal resonance for nonlinear vibration energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, D. X.; Leadenham, S.; Erturk, A.

    2015-11-01

    The transformation of waste vibration energy into low-power electricity has been heavily researched over the last decade to enable self-sustained wireless electronic components. Monostable and bistable nonlinear oscillators have been explored by several research groups in an effort to enhance the frequency bandwidth of operation. Linear two-degree-of-freedom (2-DOF) configurations as well as the combination of a nonlinear single-DOF harvester with a linear oscillator to constitute a nonlinear 2-DOF harvester have also been explored to develop broadband energy harvesters. In the present work, the concept of nonlinear internal resonance in a continuous frame structure is explored for broadband energy harvesting. The L-shaped beam-mass structure with quadratic nonlinearity was formerly studied in the nonlinear dynamics literature to demonstrate modal energy exchange and the saturation phenomenon when carefully tuned for two-to-one internal resonance. In the current effort, piezoelectric coupling and an electrical load are introduced, and electromechanical equations of the L-shaped energy harvester are employed to explore primary resonance behaviors around the first and the second linear natural frequencies for bandwidth enhancement. Simulations using approximate analytical frequency response equations as well as numerical solutions reveal significant bandwidth enhancement as compared to a typical linear 2-DOF counterpart. Vibration and voltage responses are explored, and the effects of various system parameters on the overall dynamics of the internal resonance-based energy harvesting system are reported.

  6. Thermoelectric energy harvesting as a wireless sensor node power source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knight, C.; Davidson, J.

    2010-04-01

    Size and power requirements of wireless sensor nodes are gradually decreasing and this has allowed data collection across a range of spatial and temporal ranges. These nodes have power requirements that often necessitate batteries as an energy source. As the power requirements decrease for these sensors, alternative energy sources become more attractive. One such technology is thermal energy harvesting. Thermal energy harvesting requires a differential temperature between a heat source and a cool sink. As heat energy flows from source to the sink, energy can be harvested and utilized to power sensor nodes. By exploiting the temperature difference between a sun-warmed plate and a heat sink immersed in water, electrical energy can be harvested. The proposed concept utilizes a thermoelectric device to convert solar energy into electrical power. Initial experiments were carried out at the CSIRO Energy Centre for a variety of winter time intervals in 2009, with peak power outputs in the order of 50mW. Results indicate such a system could power a wireless sensor node continuously at ocean, lake and river water interfaces. We are presently in the process of evaluating the concept by powering a CSIRO FleckTM wireless node to transmit water temperature and battery voltage data.

  7. Triboelectric Nanogenerators for Blue Energy Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Khan, Usman; Kim, Sang-Woo

    2016-07-26

    Blue energy in the form of ocean waves offers an enormous energy resource. However, it has yet to be fully exploited in order to make it available for the use of mankind. Blue energy harvesting is a challenging task as the kinetic energy from ocean waves is irregular in amplitude and is at low frequencies. Though electromagnetic generators (EMGs) are well-known for harvesting mechanical kinetic energies, they have a crucial limitation for blue energy conversion. Indeed, the output voltage of EMGs can be impractically low at the low frequencies of ocean waves. In contrast, triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) are highly suitable for blue energy harvesting as they can effectively harvest mechanical energies from low frequencies (<1 Hz) to relatively high frequencies (∼kHz) and are also low-cost, lightweight, and easy to fabricate. Several important steps have been taken by Wang's group to develop TENG technology for blue energy harvesting. In this Perspective, we describe some of the recent progress and also address concerns related to durable packaging of TENGs in consideration of harsh marine environments and power management for an efficient power transfer and distribution for commercial applications. PMID:27408982

  8. Triboelectric Nanogenerators for Blue Energy Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Khan, Usman; Kim, Sang-Woo

    2016-07-26

    Blue energy in the form of ocean waves offers an enormous energy resource. However, it has yet to be fully exploited in order to make it available for the use of mankind. Blue energy harvesting is a challenging task as the kinetic energy from ocean waves is irregular in amplitude and is at low frequencies. Though electromagnetic generators (EMGs) are well-known for harvesting mechanical kinetic energies, they have a crucial limitation for blue energy conversion. Indeed, the output voltage of EMGs can be impractically low at the low frequencies of ocean waves. In contrast, triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) are highly suitable for blue energy harvesting as they can effectively harvest mechanical energies from low frequencies (<1 Hz) to relatively high frequencies (∼kHz) and are also low-cost, lightweight, and easy to fabricate. Several important steps have been taken by Wang's group to develop TENG technology for blue energy harvesting. In this Perspective, we describe some of the recent progress and also address concerns related to durable packaging of TENGs in consideration of harsh marine environments and power management for an efficient power transfer and distribution for commercial applications.

  9. Impedance matching for broadband piezoelectric energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagedorn, F.; Leicht, J.; Sanchez, D.; Hehn, T.; Manoli, Y.

    2013-12-01

    This paper presents a system design for broadband piezoelectric energy harvesting by means of impedance matching. An inductive load impedance is emulated by controlling the output current of the piezoelectric harvester with a bipolar boost converter. The reference current is derived from the low pass filtered voltage measured at the harvester terminals. In order to maximize the harvested power especially for nonresonant frequencies the filter parameters are adjusted by a simple optimization algorithm. However the amount of harvested power is limited by the efficiency of the bipolar boost converter. Therefore an additional switch in the bipolar boost converter is proposed to reduce the capacitive switching losses. The proposed system is simulated using numerical parameters of available discrete components. Using the additional switch, the harvested power is increased by 20%. The proposed system constantly harvests 80% of the theoretically available power over frequency. The usable frequency range of ±4Hz around the resonance frequency of the piezoelectric harvester is mainly limited due to the boost converter topology. This comparison does not include the power dissipation of the control circuit.

  10. Feasibility of energy harvesting techniques for wearable medical devices.

    PubMed

    Voss, Thaddaeus J; Subbian, Vignesh; Beyette, Fred R

    2014-01-01

    Wearable devices are arguably one of the most rapidly growing technologies in the computing and health care industry. These systems provide improved means of monitoring health status of humans in real-time. In order to cope with continuous sensing and transmission of biological and health status data, it is desirable to move towards energy autonomous systems that can charge batteries using passive, ambient energy. This not only ensures uninterrupted data capturing, but could also eliminate the need to frequently remove, replace, and recharge batteries. To this end, energy harvesting is a promising area that can lead to extremely power-efficient portable medical devices. This paper presents an experimental prototype to study the feasibility of harvesting two energy sources, solar and thermoelectric energy, in the context of wearable devices. Preliminary results show that such devices can be powered by transducing ambient energy that constantly surrounds us.

  11. Enhanced energy harvesting in commercial ferroelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patel, Satyanarayan; Chauhan, Aditya; Vaish, Rahul

    2014-04-01

    Ferroelectric materials are used in a number of applications ranging from simple sensors and actuators to ferroelectric random access memories (FRAMs), transducers, health monitoring system and microelectronics. The multiphysical coupling ability possessed by these materials has been established to be useful for energy harvesting applications. However, conventional energy harvesting techniques employing ferroelectric materials possess low energy density. This has prevented the successful commercialization of ferroelectric based energy harvesting systems. In this context, the present study aims at proposing a novel approach for enhanced energy harvesting using commercially available ferroelectric materials. This technique was simulated to be used for two commercially available piezoelectric materials namely PKI-552 and APCI-840, soft and hard lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT) pervoskite ceramics, respectively. It was observed that a maximum energy density of 348 kJm-3cycle-1 can be obtained for cycle parameters of (0-1 ton compressive stress and 1-25 kV.cm-1 electric field) using APCI-840. The reported energy density is several hundred times larger than the maximum energy density reported in the literature for vibration harvesting systems.

  12. Energy harvesting devices, systems, and related methods

    DOEpatents

    Kotter, Dale K.

    2016-10-18

    Energy harvesting devices include a substrate and a plurality of resonance elements coupled to the substrate. Each resonance element is configured to collect energy in the visible and infrared light spectra and to reradiate energy having a wavelength in the range of about 0.8 .mu.m to about 0.9 .mu.m. The resonance elements are arranged in groups of two or more resonance elements. Systems for harvesting electromagnetic radiation include a substrate, a plurality of resonance elements including a conductive material carried by the substrate, and a photovoltaic material coupled to the substrate and to at least one resonance element. The resonance elements are arranged in groups, such as in a dipole, a tripole, or a bowtie configuration. Methods for forming an energy harvesting device include forming groups of two or more discrete resonance elements in a substrate and coupling a photovoltaic material to the groups of discrete resonance elements.

  13. A novel bistable energy harvesting concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarselli, G.; Nicassio, F.; Pinto, F.; Ciampa, F.; Iervolino, O.; Meo, M.

    2016-05-01

    Bistable energy harvesting has become a major field of research due to some unique features for converting mechanical energy into electrical power. When properly loaded, bistable structures snap-through from one stable configuration to another, causing large strains and consequently power generation. Moreover, bistable structures can harvest energy across a broad-frequency bandwidth due to their nonlinear characteristics. Despite the fact that snap-through may be triggered regardless of the form or frequency of exciting vibration, the external force must reach a specific snap-through activation threshold value to trigger the transition from one stable state to another. This aspect is a limiting factor for realistic vibration energy harvesting application with bistable devices. This paper presents a novel power harvesting concept for bistable composites based on a ‘lever effect’ aimed at minimising the activation force to cause the snap through by choosing properly the bistable structures’ constraints. The concept was demonstrated with the help of numerical simulation and experimental testing. The results showed that the actuation force is one order of magnitude smaller (3%-6%) than the activation force of conventionally constrained bistable devices. In addition, it was shown that the output voltage was higher than the conventional configuration, leading to a significant increase in power generation. This novel concept could lead to a new generation of more efficient bistable energy harvesters for realistic vibration environments.

  14. Optimal Energy Transfer in Light-Harvesting Systems.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lipeng; Shenai, Prathamesh; Zheng, Fulu; Somoza, Alejandro; Zhao, Yang

    2015-08-20

    Photosynthesis is one of the most essential biological processes in which specialized pigment-protein complexes absorb solar photons, and with a remarkably high efficiency, guide the photo-induced excitation energy toward the reaction center to subsequently trigger its conversion to chemical energy. In this work, we review the principles of optimal energy transfer in various natural and artificial light harvesting systems. We begin by presenting the guiding principles for optimizing the energy transfer efficiency in systems connected to dissipative environments, with particular attention paid to the potential role of quantum coherence in light harvesting systems. We will comment briefly on photo-protective mechanisms in natural systems that ensure optimal functionality under varying ambient conditions. For completeness, we will also present an overview of the charge separation and electron transfer pathways in reaction centers. Finally, recent theoretical and experimental progress on excitation energy transfer, charge separation, and charge transport in artificial light harvesting systems is delineated, with organic solar cells taken as prime examples.

  15. Optimal Energy Transfer in Light-Harvesting Systems.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lipeng; Shenai, Prathamesh; Zheng, Fulu; Somoza, Alejandro; Zhao, Yang

    2015-01-01

    Photosynthesis is one of the most essential biological processes in which specialized pigment-protein complexes absorb solar photons, and with a remarkably high efficiency, guide the photo-induced excitation energy toward the reaction center to subsequently trigger its conversion to chemical energy. In this work, we review the principles of optimal energy transfer in various natural and artificial light harvesting systems. We begin by presenting the guiding principles for optimizing the energy transfer efficiency in systems connected to dissipative environments, with particular attention paid to the potential role of quantum coherence in light harvesting systems. We will comment briefly on photo-protective mechanisms in natural systems that ensure optimal functionality under varying ambient conditions. For completeness, we will also present an overview of the charge separation and electron transfer pathways in reaction centers. Finally, recent theoretical and experimental progress on excitation energy transfer, charge separation, and charge transport in artificial light harvesting systems is delineated, with organic solar cells taken as prime examples. PMID:26307957

  16. Thermal energy harvesting plasmonic based chemical sensors.

    PubMed

    Karker, Nicholas; Dharmalingam, Gnanaprakash; Carpenter, Michael A

    2014-10-28

    Detection of gases such as H2, CO, and NO2 at 500 °C or greater requires materials with thermal stability and reliability. One of the major barriers toward integration of plasmonic-based chemical sensors is the requirement of multiple components such as light sources and spectrometers. In this work, plasmonic sensing results are presented where thermal energy is harvested using lithographically patterned Au nanorods, replacing the need for an external incident light source. Gas sensing results using the harvested thermal energy are in good agreement with sensing experiments, which used an external incident light source. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to reduce the wavelength parameter space from 665 variables down to 4 variables with similar levels of demonstrated selectivity. The combination of a plasmonic-based energy harvesting sensing paradigm with PCA analysis offers a novel path toward simplification and integration of plasmonic-based sensing methods. PMID:25280004

  17. Multichromophore light harvesting in hybrid solar cells.

    PubMed

    Bandara, Jayasundera; Willinger, Katja; Thelakkat, Mukundan

    2011-07-28

    A new technologically relevant method for multichromophore sensitizing of hybrid blend solar cells is presented. Two dyes having complementary absorption in the UV-visible regions are individually adsorbed on nanocrystalline TiO(2) powder. These dyed TiO(2) nanoparticles are blended with an organic hole-conductor (HC) Spiro-OMeTAD in desired compositions and applied on a conducting substrate by doctor-blading at room temperature to fabricate multichromophore-sensitized hybrid blend solar cells. The external quantum efficiency (EQE) of the single hybrid layer system fabricated with two dyes, that absorb mainly UV (TPD dye) and visible regions (Ru-TPA-NCS dye), exhibited a clear panchromatic response with the sum of the EQE characteristics of each single dye cell. The first results of a multichromophore-sensitized solid-state solar cell showed J(sc) of 2.1 mA cm(-2), V(oc) of 645 mV, FF of 47% and efficiency of 0.65% at AM 1.5 G, 100 mW cm(-2) illumination intensity. The J(sc) of the multichromophore cell is the sum of the individually dyed solar cells. The process described here is technically very innovative and very simple in procedure. It has potentials to be adopted for panchromatic sensitization using more than two dyes in a single hybrid layer or layer-wise fabrication of a tandem structure at room temperature. PMID:21695348

  18. An Energy Aware Adaptive Sampling Algorithm for Energy Harvesting WSN with Energy Hungry Sensors.

    PubMed

    Srbinovski, Bruno; Magno, Michele; Edwards-Murphy, Fiona; Pakrashi, Vikram; Popovici, Emanuel

    2016-01-01

    Wireless sensor nodes have a limited power budget, though they are often expected to be functional in the field once deployed for extended periods of time. Therefore, minimization of energy consumption and energy harvesting technology in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are key tools for maximizing network lifetime, and achieving self-sustainability. This paper proposes an energy aware Adaptive Sampling Algorithm (ASA) for WSN with power hungry sensors and harvesting capabilities, an energy management technique that can be implemented on any WSN platform with enough processing power to execute the proposed algorithm. An existing state-of-the-art ASA developed for wireless sensor networks with power hungry sensors is optimized and enhanced to adapt the sampling frequency according to the available energy of the node. The proposed algorithm is evaluated using two in-field testbeds that are supplied by two different energy harvesting sources (solar and wind). Simulation and comparison between the state-of-the-art ASA and the proposed energy aware ASA (EASA) in terms of energy durability are carried out using in-field measured harvested energy (using both wind and solar sources) and power hungry sensors (ultrasonic wind sensor and gas sensors). The simulation results demonstrate that using ASA in combination with an energy aware function on the nodes can drastically increase the lifetime of a WSN node and enable self-sustainability. In fact, the proposed EASA in conjunction with energy harvesting capability can lead towards perpetual WSN operation and significantly outperform the state-of-the-art ASA. PMID:27043559

  19. An Energy Aware Adaptive Sampling Algorithm for Energy Harvesting WSN with Energy Hungry Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Srbinovski, Bruno; Magno, Michele; Edwards-Murphy, Fiona; Pakrashi, Vikram; Popovici, Emanuel

    2016-01-01

    Wireless sensor nodes have a limited power budget, though they are often expected to be functional in the field once deployed for extended periods of time. Therefore, minimization of energy consumption and energy harvesting technology in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are key tools for maximizing network lifetime, and achieving self-sustainability. This paper proposes an energy aware Adaptive Sampling Algorithm (ASA) for WSN with power hungry sensors and harvesting capabilities, an energy management technique that can be implemented on any WSN platform with enough processing power to execute the proposed algorithm. An existing state-of-the-art ASA developed for wireless sensor networks with power hungry sensors is optimized and enhanced to adapt the sampling frequency according to the available energy of the node. The proposed algorithm is evaluated using two in-field testbeds that are supplied by two different energy harvesting sources (solar and wind). Simulation and comparison between the state-of-the-art ASA and the proposed energy aware ASA (EASA) in terms of energy durability are carried out using in-field measured harvested energy (using both wind and solar sources) and power hungry sensors (ultrasonic wind sensor and gas sensors). The simulation results demonstrate that using ASA in combination with an energy aware function on the nodes can drastically increase the lifetime of a WSN node and enable self-sustainability. In fact, the proposed EASA in conjunction with energy harvesting capability can lead towards perpetual WSN operation and significantly outperform the state-of-the-art ASA. PMID:27043559

  20. 3-dimensional fabrication of soft energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKay, Thomas; Walters, Peter; Rossiter, Jonathan; O'Brien, Benjamin; Anderson, Iain

    2013-04-01

    Dielectric elastomer generators (DEG) provide an opportunity to harvest energy from low frequency and aperiodic sources. Because DEG are soft, deformable, high energy density generators, they can be coupled to complex structures such as the human body to harvest excess mechanical energy. However, DEG are typically constrained by a rigid frame and manufactured in a simple planar structure. This planar arrangement is unlikely to be optimal for harvesting from compliant and/or complex structures. In this paper we present a soft generator which is fabricated into a 3 Dimensional geometry. This capability will enable the 3-dimensional structure of a dielectric elastomer to be customised to the energy source, allowing efficient and/or non-invasive coupling. This paper demonstrates our first 3 dimensional generator which includes a diaphragm with a soft elastomer frame. When the generator was connected to a self-priming circuit and cyclically inflated, energy was accumulated in the system, demonstrated by an increased voltage. Our 3D generator promises a bright future for dielectric elastomers that will be customised for integration with complex and soft structures. In addition to customisable geometries, the 3D printing process may lend itself to fabricating large arrays of small generator units and for fabricating truly soft generators with excellent impedance matching to biological tissue. Thus comfortable, wearable energy harvesters are one step closer to reality.

  1. A solar-thermal energy harvesting scheme: enhanced heat capacity of molten HITEC salt mixed with Sn/SiO(x) core-shell nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Lai, Chih-Chung; Chang, Wen-Chih; Hu, Wen-Liang; Wang, Zhiming M; Lu, Ming-Chang; Chueh, Yu-Lun

    2014-05-01

    We demonstrated enhanced solar-thermal storage by releasing the latent heat of Sn/SiO(x) core-shell nanoparticles (NPs) embedded in a eutectic salt. The microstructures and chemical compositions of Sn/SiO(x) core-shell NPs were characterized. In situ heating XRD provides dynamic crystalline information about the Sn/SiO(x) core-shell NPs during cyclic heating processes. The latent heat of ∼29 J g(-1) for Sn/SiO(x) core-shell NPs was measured, and 30% enhanced heat capacity was achieved from 1.57 to 2.03 J g(-1) K(-1) for the HITEC solar salt without and with, respectively, a mixture of 5% Sn/SiO(x) core-shell NPs. In addition, an endurance cycle test was performed to prove a stable operation in practical applications. The approach provides a method to enhance energy storage in solar-thermal power plants.

  2. Double synchronized switch harvesting (DSSH): a new energy harvesting scheme for efficient energy extraction.

    PubMed

    Lallart, Mickaël; Garbuio, Lauric; Petit, Lionel; Richard, Claude; Guyomar, Daniel

    2008-10-01

    This paper presents a new technique for optimized energy harvesting using piezoelectric microgenerators called double synchronized switch harvesting (DSSH). This technique consists of a nonlinear treatment of the output voltage of the piezoelectric element. It also integrates an intermediate switching stage that ensures an optimal harvested power whatever the load connected to the microgenerator. Theoretical developments are presented considering either constant vibration magnitude, constant driving force, or independent extraction. Then experimental measurements are carried out to validate the theoretical predictions. This technique exhibits a constant output power for a wide range of load connected to the microgenerator. In addition, the extracted power obtained using such a technique allows a gain up to 500% in terms of maximal power output compared with the standard energy harvesting method. It is also shown that such a technique allows a fine-tuning of the trade-off between vibration damping and energy harvesting. PMID:18986861

  3. Piezoelectric energy harvesting from raised crosswalk devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ticali, Dario; Denaro, Mario; Barracco, Alessandro; Guerrieri, Marco

    2015-03-01

    This paper presents the main characteristics of an experimental energy harvesting device that can be used to recover energy from the vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The use of a piezoelectric bender devices leads to a innovative approach to Henergy Harvesting. The study focuses on the definition and specification of a mechanical configuration able to transfer the vibration from the main box to the piezoelectric transducer. The piezoelectric devices tested is the commonly used monolithic piezoceramic material lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT). The experimental results estimate the efficiency of this device tested and identify the feasibility of their use in real world applications. The results presented in this paper show the potential of piezoelectric materials for use in power harvesting applications.

  4. Subwavelength resonant antennas enhancing electromagnetic energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oumbe Tekam, Gabin; Ginis, Vincent; Seetharamdoo, Divitha; Danckaert, Jan

    2016-04-01

    In this work, an electromagnetic energy harvester operating at microwave frequencies is designed based on a cut- wire metasurface. This metamaterial is known to contain a quasistatic electric dipole resonator leading to a strong resonant electric response when illuminated by electromagnetic fields.1 Starting from an equivalent electrical circuit, we analytically design the parameters of the system to tune the resonance frequency of the harvester at the desired frequency band. Subsequently, we compare these results with numerical simulations, which have been obtained using finite elements numerical simulations. Finally, we optimize the design by investigating the best arrangement for energy harvesting by coupling in parallel and in series many single layers of cut-wire metasurfaces. We also discuss the implementation of different geometries and sizes of the cut-wire metasurface for achieving different center frequencies and bandwidths.

  5. Piezoelectric monolayers as nonlinear energy harvesters.

    PubMed

    López-Suárez, Miquel; Pruneda, Miguel; Abadal, Gabriel; Rurali, Riccardo

    2014-05-01

    We study the dynamics of h-BN monolayers by first performing ab-initio calculations of the deformation potential energy and then solving numerically a Langevine-type equation to explore their use in nonlinear vibration energy harvesting devices. An applied compressive strain is used to drive the system into a nonlinear bistable regime, where quasi-harmonic vibrations are combined with low-frequency swings between the minima of a double-well potential. Due to its intrinsic piezoelectric response, the nonlinear mechanical harvester naturally provides an electrical power that is readily available or can be stored by simply contacting the monolayer at its ends. Engineering the induced nonlinearity, a 20 nm2 device is predicted to harvest an electrical power of up to 0.18 pW for a noisy vibration of 5 pN. PMID:24722065

  6. Conversion of solar energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Semenov, N. N.; Shilov, A. E.

    The papers presented in this volume provide an overview of current theoretical and experimental research related to the conversion and practical utilization of solar energy. Topics discussed include semiconductor photovoltaic cells, orbital solar power stations, chemical and biological methods of solar energy conversion, and solar energy applications. Papers are included on new theoretical models of solar cells and prospects for increasing their efficiency, metrology and optical studies of solar cells, and some problems related to the thermally induced deformations of large space structures.

  7. Solar Energy Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    Calibrated in kilowatt hours per square meter, the solar counter produced by Dodge Products, Inc. provides a numerical count of the solar energy that has accumulated on a surface. Solar energy sensing, measuring and recording devices in corporate solar cell technology developed by Lewis Research Center. Customers for their various devices include architects, engineers and others engaged in construction and operation of solar energy facilities; manufacturers of solar systems or solar related products, such as glare reducing windows; and solar energy planners in federal and state government agencies.

  8. A Solar Energy Bibliography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guthrie, David L.; Riley, Robert A.

    This document contains 5,000 references to literature through 1976 dealing with various aspects of solar energy. Categories are established according to area of solar research. These categories include: (1) overview; (2) measurement; (3) low-range solar energy collection (below 120 degrees C); (4) intermediate-range solar energy collection (120…

  9. Broadband magnetic levitation-based nonlinear energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nammari, Abdullah; Doughty, Seth; Savage, Dustin; Weiss, Leland; Jaganathan, Arun; Bardaweel, Hamzeh

    2016-05-01

    In this work, development of a broadband nonlinear electromagnetic energy harvester is described. The energy harvester consists of a casing housing stationary magnets, a levitated magnet, oblique mechanical springs, and a coil. Magnetic and oblique springs introduce nonlinear behavior into the energy harvester. A mathematical model of the proposed device is developed and validated. The results show good agreement between model and experiment. The significance of adding oblique mechanical springs to the energy harvester design is investigated using the model simulation. The results from the model suggest that adding oblique springs to the energy harvester will improve the performance and increase the frequency bandwidth and amplitude response of the energy harvester.

  10. A hybrid indoor ambient light and vibration energy harvester for wireless sensor nodes.

    PubMed

    Yu, Hua; Yue, Qiuqin; Zhou, Jielin; Wang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    To take advantage of applications where both light and vibration energy are available, a hybrid indoor ambient light and vibration energy harvesting scheme is proposed in this paper. This scheme uses only one power conditioning circuit to condition the combined output power harvested from both energy sources so as to reduce the power dissipation. In order to more accurately predict the instantaneous power harvested from the solar panel, an improved five-parameter model for small-scale solar panel applying in low light illumination is presented. The output voltage is increased by using the MEMS piezoelectric cantilever arrays architecture. It overcomes the disadvantage of traditional MEMS vibration energy harvester with low voltage output. The implementation of the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) for indoor ambient light is implemented using analog discrete components, which improves the whole harvester efficiency significantly compared to the digital signal processor. The output power of the vibration energy harvester is improved by using the impedance matching technique. An efficient mechanism of energy accumulation and bleed-off is also discussed. Experiment results obtained from an amorphous-silicon (a-Si) solar panel of 4.8 × 2.0 cm2 and a fabricated piezoelectric MEMS generator of 11 × 12.4 mm2 show that the hybrid energy harvester achieves a maximum efficiency around 76.7%. PMID:24854054

  11. A Hybrid Indoor Ambient Light and Vibration Energy Harvester for Wireless Sensor Nodes

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Hua; Yue, Qiuqin; Zhou, Jielin; Wang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    To take advantage of applications where both light and vibration energy are available, a hybrid indoor ambient light and vibration energy harvesting scheme is proposed in this paper. This scheme uses only one power conditioning circuit to condition the combined output power harvested from both energy sources so as to reduce the power dissipation. In order to more accurately predict the instantaneous power harvested from the solar panel, an improved five-parameter model for small-scale solar panel applying in low light illumination is presented. The output voltage is increased by using the MEMS piezoelectric cantilever arrays architecture. It overcomes the disadvantage of traditional MEMS vibration energy harvester with low voltage output. The implementation of the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) for indoor ambient light is implemented using analog discrete components, which improves the whole harvester efficiency significantly compared to the digital signal processor. The output power of the vibration energy harvester is improved by using the impedance matching technique. An efficient mechanism of energy accumulation and bleed-off is also discussed. Experiment results obtained from an amorphous-silicon (a-Si) solar panel of 4.8 × 2.0 cm2 and a fabricated piezoelectric MEMS generator of 11 × 12.4 mm2 show that the hybrid energy harvester achieves a maximum efficiency around 76.7%. PMID:24854054

  12. A hybrid indoor ambient light and vibration energy harvester for wireless sensor nodes.

    PubMed

    Yu, Hua; Yue, Qiuqin; Zhou, Jielin; Wang, Wei

    2014-05-19

    To take advantage of applications where both light and vibration energy are available, a hybrid indoor ambient light and vibration energy harvesting scheme is proposed in this paper. This scheme uses only one power conditioning circuit to condition the combined output power harvested from both energy sources so as to reduce the power dissipation. In order to more accurately predict the instantaneous power harvested from the solar panel, an improved five-parameter model for small-scale solar panel applying in low light illumination is presented. The output voltage is increased by using the MEMS piezoelectric cantilever arrays architecture. It overcomes the disadvantage of traditional MEMS vibration energy harvester with low voltage output. The implementation of the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) for indoor ambient light is implemented using analog discrete components, which improves the whole harvester efficiency significantly compared to the digital signal processor. The output power of the vibration energy harvester is improved by using the impedance matching technique. An efficient mechanism of energy accumulation and bleed-off is also discussed. Experiment results obtained from an amorphous-silicon (a-Si) solar panel of 4.8 × 2.0 cm2 and a fabricated piezoelectric MEMS generator of 11 × 12.4 mm2 show that the hybrid energy harvester achieves a maximum efficiency around 76.7%.

  13. Tree-inspired piezoelectric energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobbs, William B.; Hu, David L.

    2012-01-01

    We design and test micro-watt energy-harvesters inspired by tree trunks swaying in the wind. A uniform flow vibrates a linear array of four cylinders affixed to piezoelectric energy transducers. Particular attention is paid to measuring the energy generated as a function of cylinder spacing, flow speed, and relative position of the cylinder within the array. Peak power is generated using cylinder center-to-center spacings of 3.3 diameters and flow speeds in which the vortex shedding frequency is 1.6 times the natural frequency of the cylinders. Using these flow speeds and spacings, the power generated by downstream cylinders can exceed that of leading cylinders by more than an order of magnitude. We visualize the flow in this system by studying the behavior of a dynamically matched flowing soap film with imbedded styrofoam disks. Our qualitative visualizations suggest that peak energy harvesting occurs under conditions in which vortices have fully detached from the leading cylinder.

  14. Energy Harvesting From Low Frequency Applications Using Piezoelectric Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Huidong; Tian, Chuan; Deng, Zhiqun

    2014-11-06

    This paper reviewed the state of research on piezoelectric energy harvesters. Various types of harvester configurations, piezoelectric materials, and techniques used to improve the mechanical-to-electrical energy conversion efficiency were discussed. Most of the piezoelectric energy harvesters studied today have focused on scavenging mechanical energy from vibration sources due to their abundance in both natural and industrial environments. Cantilever beams have been the most studied structure for piezoelectric energy harvester to date because of the high responsiveness to small vibrations.

  15. Two degrees of freedom piezoelectric vibration energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wei; Liu, Shengsheng; Cao, Junyi; Zhou, Shengxi; Lin, Jing

    2016-04-01

    Recently, vibration energy harvesting from surrounding environments to power wearable devices and wireless sensors in structure health monitoring has received considerable interest. Piezoelectric conversion mechanism has been employed to develop many successful energy harvesting devices due to its simple structure, long life span, high harvesting efficiency and so on. However, there are many difficulties of microscale cantilever configurations in energy harvesting from low frequency ambient. In order to improve the adaptability of energy harvesting from ambient vibrations, a two degrees of freedom (2-DOF) magnetic-coupled piezoelectric energy harvester is proposed in this paper. The electromechanical governing models of the cantilever and clamped hybrid energy harvester are derived to describe the dynamic characteristics for 2-DOF magnetic-coupled piezoelectric vibration energy harvester. Numerical simulations based on Matlab and ANSYS software show that the proposed magnetically coupled energy harvester can enhance the effective operating frequency bandwidth and increase the energy density. The experimental voltage responses of 2-DOF harvester under different structure parameters are acquired to demonstrate the effectiveness of the lumped parameter model for low frequency excitations. Moreover, the proposed energy harvester can enhance the energy harvesting performance over a wider bandwidth of low frequencies and has a great potential for broadband vibration energy harvesting.

  16. Energy-harvesting at the Nanoscale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, Andrew; Sothmann, Björn; Sánchez, Rafael; Büttiker, Markus

    2013-03-01

    Energy harvesting is the process by which energy is taken from the environment and transformed to provide power for electronics. Specifically, the conversion of thermal energy into electrical power, or thermoelectrics, can play a crucial role in future developments of alternative sources of energy. Unfortunately, present thermoelectrics have low efficiency. Therefore, an important task in condensed matter physics is to find new ways to harvest ambient thermal energy, particularly at the smallest length scales where electronics operate. To achieve this goal, there is on one hand the miniaturizing of electrical devices, and on the other, the maximization of either efficiency or power the devices produce. We will present the theory of nano heat engines able to efficiently convert heat into electrical power. We propose a resonant tunneling quantum dot engine that can be operated either in the Carnot efficient mode, or maximal power mode. The ability to scale the power by putting many such engines in a ``Swiss cheese sandwich'' geometry gives a paradigmatic system for harvesting thermal energy at the nanoscale. This work was supported by the US NSF Grant No. DMR-0844899, the Swiss NSF, the NCCR MaNEP and QSIT, the European STREP project Nanopower, the CSIC and FSE JAE-Doc program, the Spanish MAT2011-24331 and the ITN Grant 234970 (EU)

  17. A solar-thermal energy harvesting scheme: enhanced heat capacity of molten HITEC salt mixed with Sn/SiOx core-shell nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Chih-Chung; Chang, Wen-Chih; Hu, Wen-Liang; Wang, Zhiming M.; Lu, Ming-Chang; Chueh, Yu-Lun

    2014-04-01

    We demonstrated enhanced solar-thermal storage by releasing the latent heat of Sn/SiOx core-shell nanoparticles (NPs) embedded in a eutectic salt. The microstructures and chemical compositions of Sn/SiOx core-shell NPs were characterized. In situ heating XRD provides dynamic crystalline information about the Sn/SiOx core-shell NPs during cyclic heating processes. The latent heat of ~29 J g-1 for Sn/SiOx core-shell NPs was measured, and 30% enhanced heat capacity was achieved from 1.57 to 2.03 J g-1 K-1 for the HITEC solar salt without and with, respectively, a mixture of 5% Sn/SiOx core-shell NPs. In addition, an endurance cycle test was performed to prove a stable operation in practical applications. The approach provides a method to enhance energy storage in solar-thermal power plants.We demonstrated enhanced solar-thermal storage by releasing the latent heat of Sn/SiOx core-shell nanoparticles (NPs) embedded in a eutectic salt. The microstructures and chemical compositions of Sn/SiOx core-shell NPs were characterized. In situ heating XRD provides dynamic crystalline information about the Sn/SiOx core-shell NPs during cyclic heating processes. The latent heat of ~29 J g-1 for Sn/SiOx core-shell NPs was measured, and 30% enhanced heat capacity was achieved from 1.57 to 2.03 J g-1 K-1 for the HITEC solar salt without and with, respectively, a mixture of 5% Sn/SiOx core-shell NPs. In addition, an endurance cycle test was performed to prove a stable operation in practical applications. The approach provides a method to enhance energy storage in solar-thermal power plants. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Detailed experimental results are included for the following: SEM images of the HITEC molten salt with and without a mixture of Sn/SiOx core-shell NPs; statistical diameter distribution of pure Sn and Sn/SiOx core-shell NPs; the HAADF image and EDS linescan profile of a Sn/SiOx core-shell NP; XRD analysis for Sn NPs annealing at different heating

  18. Solar energy: principles and possibilities.

    PubMed

    Rhodes, Christopher J

    2010-01-01

    As the world faces an impending dearth of fossil fuels, most immediately oil, alternative sources of energy must be found. 174 PW worth of energy falls onto the top of the Earth's atmosphere in the form of sunlight which is almost 10,000 times the total amount of energy used by humans on Earth, as taken from all sources, oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric power combined. If even a fraction of this could be harvested efficiently, the energy crunch could in principle be averted. Various means for garnering energy from the Sun are presented, including photovoltaics (PV), thin film solar cells, quantum dot cells, concentrating PV and thermal solar power stations, which are more efficient in practical terms. Finally the prospects of space based (satellite) solar power are considered. The caveat is that even if the entire world electricity budget could be met using solar energy, the remaining 80% of energy which is not used as electricity but thermal power (heat) still needs to be found in the absence of fossil fuels. Most pressingly, the decline of cheap plentiful crude oil (peak oil) will not find a substitution via solar unless a mainly electrified transportation system is devised and it is debatable that there is sufficient time and conventional energy remaining to accomplish this. The inevitable contraction of transportation will default a deconstruction of the globalised world economy into that of a system of localised communities.

  19. Alternatives in solar energy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schueler, D. G.

    1978-01-01

    Although solar energy has the potential of providing a significant source of clean and renewable energy for a variety of applications, it is expected to penetrate the nation's energy economy very slowly. The alternative solar energy technologies which employ direct collection and conversion of solar radiation as briefly described.

  20. Piezoelectric energy harvesting from hybrid vibrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Zhimiao; Abdelkefi, Abdessattar; Hajj, Muhammad R.

    2014-02-01

    The concept of harvesting energy from ambient and galloping vibrations of a bluff body with a triangular cross-section geometry is investigated. A piezoelectric transducer is attached to the transverse degree of freedom of the body in order to convert these vibrations to electrical energy. A coupled nonlinear distributed-parameter model is developed that takes into consideration the galloping force and moment nonlinearities and the base excitation effects. The aerodynamic loads are modeled using the quasi-steady approximation. Linear analysis is performed to determine the effects of the electrical load resistance and wind speed on the global damping and frequency of the harvester as well as on the onset of instability. Then, nonlinear analysis is performed to investigate the impact of the base acceleration, wind speed, and electrical load resistance on the performance of the harvester and the associated nonlinear phenomena that take place. The results show that, depending on the interaction between the base and galloping excitations, and the considered values of the wind speed, base acceleration, and electrical load resistance, different nonlinear phenomena arise while others disappear. Short- and open-circuit configurations for different wind speeds and base accelerations are assessed. The results show that the maximum levels of harvested power are accompanied by a minimum transverse displacement when varying the electrical load resistance.

  1. Improving an energy harvesting device for railroad safety applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pourghodrat, Abolfazl; Nelson, Carl A.; Phillips, Kyle J.; Fateh, Mahmood

    2011-03-01

    Due to hundreds of fatalities annually at unprotected railroad crossings (mostly because of collisions with passenger vehicles and derailments resulting from improperly maintained tracks and mechanical failures), supplying a reliable source of electrical energy to power crossing lights and distributed sensor networks is essential to improve safety. With regard to the high cost of electrical infrastructure for railroad crossings in remote areas and the lack of reliability and robustness of solar and wind energy solutions, development of alternative energy harvesting devices is of interest. In this paper, improvements to a mechanical energy harvesting device are presented. The device scavenges electrical energy from deflection of railroad track due to passing railcar traffic. It is mounted to and spans two rail ties and converts and magnifies the track's entire upward and downward displacement into rotational motion of a PMDC generator. The major improvements to the new prototype include: harvesting power from upward displacement in addition to downward, changing the gearing and generator in order to maximize power production capacity for the same shaft speed, and improving the way the system is stabilized for minimizing lost motion. The improved prototype was built, and simulations and tests were conducted to quantify the effects of the improvements.

  2. Energy harvesting in high voltage measuring techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Żyłka, Pawel; Doliński, Marcin

    2016-02-01

    The paper discusses selected problems related to application of energy harvesting (that is, generating electricity from surplus energy present in the environment) to supply autonomous ultra-low-power measurement systems applicable in high voltage engineering. As a practical example of such implementation a laboratory model of a remote temperature sensor is presented, which is self-powered by heat generated in a current-carrying busbar in HV- switchgear. Presented system exploits a thermoelectric harvester based on a passively cooled Peltier module supplying micro-power low-voltage dc-dc converter driving energy-efficient temperature sensor, microcontroller and a fibre-optic transmitter. Performance of the model in laboratory simulated conditions are presented and discussed.

  3. Vibration energy harvesting with polyphase AC transducers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCullagh, James J.; Scruggs, Jeffrey T.; Asai, Takehiko

    2016-04-01

    Three-phase transduction affords certain advantages in the efficient electromechanical conversion of energy, especially at higher power scales. This paper considers the use of a three-phase electric machine for harvesting energy from vibrations. We consider the use of vector control techniques, which are common in the area of industrial electronics, for optimizing the feedback loops in a stochastically-excited energy harvesting system. To do this, we decompose the problem into two separate feedback loops for direct and quadrature current components, and illustrate how each might be separately optimized to maximize power output. In a simple analytical example, we illustrate how these techniques might be used to gain insight into the tradeoffs in the design of the electronic hardware and the choice of bus voltage.

  4. Opportunities for energy harvesting in automobile factories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adegoke, E. I.; Edwards, R. M.; Whittow, Will; Bindel, Axel; Peca, Marco

    2016-04-01

    This paper investigates the opportunities of deploying distributed sensors within the manufacturing environment of a large scale automobile plant using energy harvesting techniques. Measurements were taken in three domains at the plant in order to characterize ambient energy. Due to the location of the plant, the RF power density for radio access technologies present varied between -127 dBm/cm2 and -113 dBm/cm2. The maximum temperature difference measured within accessible distance from machine parts on the production lines surveyed was 10°C. Indoor lighting was dominant at the plant via fluorescent tubes, with average irradiance of 1 W/m2. The results obtained from this measurement campaign showed that indoor lighting was the most suitable ambient source for energy harvesting.

  5. Piezoelectric cantilevers energy harvesting in MEMS technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shang, Yingqi; Qiu, Chengjun; Liu, Hongmei; Chen, Xiaojie; Qu, Wei; Dou, Yanwei

    2011-11-01

    Piezoelectric cantilevers energy harvesting made by micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) technology can scavenge power from low-level ambient vibration sources. The developed cantilevers energy harvesting are featured with resonate frequency and power output in microwatt level, which is sufficient to the self-supportive sensors for in-service integrity monitoring of large social and environmental infrastructures at remote locations. In this paper, piezoelectric energy harvesting based on thick-film piezoelectric cantilevers is investigated to resonate at specific frequencies of an external vibration energy source, which creating electrical energy via the piezoelectric effect. Our cantilever device has a multiple structure with a proof mass added to the end. The thick film lead zirconate titanate Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 (PZT) coated on the top of Au/Cr/SiO2/Si substrates by sol-gel-spin method. The thickness of the PZT membrane was up to 2μm and the cantilevers substrates thickness 50μm, wideness 1.5mm, length 4mm. The Au/Ti top electrode is patterned on top of the sol-gel-spin coated PZT thick film in order to employ the d31 mode. The prototype energy generator has a measured performance of 0.74μW effective electrical power, and 4.93 DC output voltages to resistance load. The effect of proof mass, beam shape and damping on the power generating performance are modeled to provide a design guideline for maximum power harvesting from environmentally available low frequency vibrations. A multiple structure cantilever is designed to achieve compactness, low resonant frequency and minimum damping coefficient, simultaneously. This device is promising to support networks of ultra-low-power sensor.

  6. Piezoelectric cantilevers energy harvesting in MEMS technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shang, Yingqi; Qiu, Chengjun; Liu, Hongmei; Chen, Xiaojie; Qu, Wei; Dou, Yanwei

    2012-04-01

    Piezoelectric cantilevers energy harvesting made by micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) technology can scavenge power from low-level ambient vibration sources. The developed cantilevers energy harvesting are featured with resonate frequency and power output in microwatt level, which is sufficient to the self-supportive sensors for in-service integrity monitoring of large social and environmental infrastructures at remote locations. In this paper, piezoelectric energy harvesting based on thick-film piezoelectric cantilevers is investigated to resonate at specific frequencies of an external vibration energy source, which creating electrical energy via the piezoelectric effect. Our cantilever device has a multiple structure with a proof mass added to the end. The thick film lead zirconate titanate Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 (PZT) coated on the top of Au/Cr/SiO2/Si substrates by sol-gel-spin method. The thickness of the PZT membrane was up to 2μm and the cantilevers substrates thickness 50μm, wideness 1.5mm, length 4mm. The Au/Ti top electrode is patterned on top of the sol-gel-spin coated PZT thick film in order to employ the d31 mode. The prototype energy generator has a measured performance of 0.74μW effective electrical power, and 4.93 DC output voltages to resistance load. The effect of proof mass, beam shape and damping on the power generating performance are modeled to provide a design guideline for maximum power harvesting from environmentally available low frequency vibrations. A multiple structure cantilever is designed to achieve compactness, low resonant frequency and minimum damping coefficient, simultaneously. This device is promising to support networks of ultra-low-power sensor.

  7. Heat to electricity conversion by cold carrier emissive energy harvesters

    SciTech Connect

    Strandberg, Rune

    2015-12-07

    This paper suggests a method to convert heat to electricity by the use of devices called cold carrier emissive energy harvesters (cold carrier EEHs). The working principle of such converters is explained and theoretical power densities and efficiencies are calculated for ideal devices. Cold carrier EEHs are based on the same device structure as hot carrier solar cells, but works in an opposite way. Whereas a hot carrier solar cell receives net radiation from the sun and converts some of this radiative heat flow into electricity, a cold carrier EEH sustains a net outflux of radiation to the surroundings while converting some of the energy supplied to it into electricity. It is shown that the most basic type of cold carrier EEHs have the same theoretical efficiency as the ideal emissive energy harvesters described earlier by Byrnes et al. In the present work, it is also shown that if the emission from the cold carrier EEH originates from electron transitions across an energy gap where a difference in the chemical potential of the electrons above and below the energy gap is sustained, power densities slightly higher than those given by Byrnes et al. can be achieved.

  8. Flexible piezoelectric energy harvesting from jaw movements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delnavaz, Aidin; Voix, Jérémie

    2014-10-01

    Piezoelectric fiber composites (PFC) represent an interesting subset of smart materials that can function as sensor, actuator and energy converter. Despite their excellent potential for energy harvesting, very few PFC mechanisms have been developed to capture the human body power and convert it into an electric current to power wearable electronic devices. This paper provides a proof of concept for a head-mounted device with a PFC chin strap capable of harvesting energy from jaw movements. An electromechanical model based on the bond graph method is developed to predict the power output of the energy harvesting system. The optimum resistance value of the load and the best stretch ratio in the strap are also determined. A prototype was developed and tested and its performances were compared to the analytical model predictions. The proposed piezoelectric strap mechanism can be added to all types of head-mounted devices to power small-scale electronic devices such as hearing aids, electronic hearing protectors and communication earpieces.

  9. Recent Advancements in Nanogenerators for Energy Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Hu, Fei; Cai, Qian; Liao, Fan; Shao, Mingwang; Lee, Shuit-Tong

    2015-11-11

    Nanomaterial-based generators are a highly promising power supply for micro/nanoscale devices, capable of directly harvesting energy from ambient sources without the need for batteries. These generators have been designed within four main types: piezoelectric, triboelectric, thermoelectric, and electret effects, and consist of ZnO-based, silicon-based, ferroelectric-material-based, polymer-based, and graphene-based examples. The representative achievements, current challenges, and future prospects of these nanogenerators are discussed.

  10. Energy harvesting with coupled magnetostrictive resonators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naik, Suketu; Phipps, Alex; In, Visarath; Cavaroc, Peyton; Matus-Vargas, Antonio; Palacios, Antonio; Gonzalez-Hernandez, H. G.

    2014-03-01

    We report the investigation of an energy harvesting system composed of coupled resonators with the magnetostrictive material Galfenol (FeGa). A coupled system of meso-scale (1-10 cm) cantilever beams for harvesting vibration energy is described for powering and aiding the performance of low-power wireless sensor nodes. Galfenol is chosen in this work for its durability, compared to the brittleness often encountered with piezoelectric materials, and high magnetomechanical coupling. A lumped model, which captures both the mechanical and electrical behavior of the individual transducers, is first developed. The values of the lumped element parameters are then derived empirically from fabricated beams in order to compare the model to experimental measurements. The governing equations of the coupled system lead to a system of differential equations with all-to-all coupling between transducers. An analysis of the system equations reveals different patterns of collective oscillations. Among the many different patterns, a synchronous state appears to yield the maximum energy that can be harvested by the system. Experiments on coupled system shows that the coupled system exhibits synchronization and an increment in the output power. Discussion of the required power converters is also included.

  11. Analysis of Bright Harvest Remote Analysis for Residential Solar Installations

    SciTech Connect

    Nangle, John; Simon, Joseph

    2015-06-17

    Bright Harvest provides remote shading analysis and design products for residential PV system installers. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) through the NREL Commercialization Assistance Program, completed comparative assessments between on-site measurements and remotely calculated values to validate the accuracy of Bright Harvest’s remote shading and power generation.

  12. Environmental effects of harvesting forests for energy

    SciTech Connect

    Van Hook, R. I.; Johnson, D. W.; West, D. C.; Mann, L. K.

    1980-01-01

    Present interest in decreasing US dependence on foreign oil by increasing the use of wood for energy may bring about a change in our forest utilization policies. In the past, forests have been removed in areas believed to be suited for agriculture, or sawtimber and pulp have been the only woody material removed in any quantity from land not generally considered tillable. The new demands on wood for energy are effecting a trend toward (1) removing all woody biomass from harvested areas, (2) increasing the frequency of harvesting second growth forests, and (3) increasing production with biomass plantations. Considering the marginal quality of much of the remaining forested land, the impacts of these modes of production could be significant. For example, it is anticipated that increased losses of nutrients and carbon will occur by direct forest removal and through erosion losses accelerated by forest clearing. There are, however, control measures that can be utilized in minimizing both direct and indirect effects of forest harvesting while maximizing woody biomass production.

  13. Nonlinearities in energy-harvesting media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, David L.; Jenkins, Robert D.

    2001-07-01

    Both in natural photosynthetic systems and also their molecularly engineered mimics, energy is generally transferred to the sites of its chemical storage from other sites of primary optical excitation. This migration process generally entails a number of steps, frequently involving intermediary chromophore units, with each step characterised by high efficiency and rapidity. Energy thereby accrues at reaction centres where its chemical storage occurs. At high levels of irradiation, energy harvesting material can exhibit novel forms of optical nonlinearity. Such behaviour is associated with the direct pooling of excitation energy, enabling secondary acceptors to undergo transitions to states whose energy equals that of two or more input photons, subject to decay losses. Observations of this kind have now been made on a variety of materials, ranging from photoactive dyes, through fullerene derivatives, to lanthanide doped crystals. Recently developed theory has established the underlying principles and links between the modes of operation of these systems. Key factors include the chromophore layout and geometry, electronic structure and optical selection rules. Mesoscopic symmetry, especially in photosynthetic pigment arrays and also in their dendrimeric mimics, is here linked to the transient establishment of excitons. The involvement of excitons in energy harvesting is nonetheless substantially compromised by local disorder. The interplay of these factors in photoactive materials design is discussed in the context of new materials for operation with intense laser light.

  14. Solar Energy Technician/Installer

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Pam

    2007-01-01

    Solar power (also known as solar energy) is solar radiation emitted from the sun. Large panels that absorb the sun's energy as the sun beats down on them gather solar power. The energy in the rays can be used for heat (solar thermal energy) or converted to electricity (photovoltaic energy). Each solar energy project, from conception to…

  15. Piezoelectric diaphragm for vibration energy harvesting.

    PubMed

    Minazara, E; Vasic, D; Costa, F; Poulin, G

    2006-12-22

    This paper presents a technique of electric energy generation using a mechanically excited unimorph piezoelectric membrane transducer. The electrical characteristics of the piezoelectric power generator are investigated under dynamic conditions. The electromechanical model of the generator is presented and used to predict its electrical performances. The experiments was performed with a piezoelectric actuator (shaker) moving a macroscopic 25 mm diameter piezoelectric membrane. A power of 0.65 mW was generated at the resonance frequency (1.71 kHz) across a 5.6 kOmega optimal resistor and for a 80 N force. A special electronic circuit has been conceived in order to increase the power harvested by the piezoelectric transducer. This electrical converter applies the SSHI (synchronized switch harvesting on inductor) technique, and leads to remarkable results: under the same actuation conditions the generated power reaches 1.7 mW, which is sufficient to supply a large range of low consumption sensors. PMID:16814837

  16. Solar energy emplacement developer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mortensen, Michael; Sauls, Bob

    1991-01-01

    A preliminary design was developed for a Lunar Power System (LPS) composed of photovoltaic arrays and microwave reflectors fabricated from lunar materials. The LPS will collect solar energy on the surface of the Moon, transform it into microwave energy, and beam it back to Earth where it will be converted into usable energy. The Solar Energy Emplacement Developer (SEED) proposed will use a similar sort of solar energy collection and dispersement to power the systems that will construct the LPS.

  17. Bio-Photoelectrochemical Solar Cells Incorporating Reaction Center and Reaction Center Plus Light Harvesting Complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaghoubi, Houman

    Harvesting solar energy can potentially be a promising solution to the energy crisis now and in the future. However, material and processing costs continue to be the most important limitations for the commercial devices. A key solution to these problems might lie within the development of bio-hybrid solar cells that seeks to mimic photosynthesis to harvest solar energy and to take advantage of the low material costs, negative carbon footprint, and material abundance. The bio-photoelectrochemical cell technologies exploit biomimetic means of energy conversion by utilizing plant-derived photosystems which can be inexpensive and ultimately the most sustainable alternative. Plants and photosynthetic bacteria harvest light, through special proteins called reaction centers (RCs), with high efficiency and convert it into electrochemical energy. In theory, photosynthetic RCs can be used in a device to harvest solar energy and generate 1.1 V open circuit voltage and ~1 mA cm-2 short circuit photocurrent. Considering the nearly perfect quantum yield of photo-induced charge separation, efficiency of a protein-based solar cell might exceed 20%. In practice, the efficiency of fabricated devices has been limited mainly due to the challenges in the electron transfer between the protein complex and the device electrodes as well as limited light absorption. The overarching goal of this work is to increase the power conversion efficiency in protein-based solar cells by addressing those issues (i.e. electron transfer and light absorption). This work presents several approaches to increase the charge transfer rate between the photosynthetic RC and underlying electrode as well as increasing the light absorption to eventually enhance the external quantum efficiency (EQE) of bio-hybrid solar cells. The first approach is to decrease the electron transfer distance between one of the redox active sites in the RC and the underlying electrode by direct attachment of the of protein complex

  18. Experimenting with Solar Energy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roman, Harry T.

    2004-01-01

    Over the past 25 years, the author has had the opportunity to study the subject of solar energy and to get involved with the installation, operation, and testing of solar energy systems. His work has taken him all over the United States and put him in contact with solar experts from around the world. He has also had the good fortune of seeing some…

  19. Solar energy modulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hale, R. R. (Inventor); Mcdougal, A. R.

    1984-01-01

    A module is described with a receiver having a solar energy acceptance opening and supported by a mounting ring along the optic axis of a parabolic mirror in coaxial alignment for receiving solar energy from the mirror, and a solar flux modulator plate for varying the quantity of solar energy flux received by the acceptance opening of the module. The modulator plate is characterized by an annular, plate-like body, the internal diameter of which is equal to or slightly greater than the diameter of the solar energy acceptance opening of the receiver. Slave cylinders are connected to the modulator plate for supporting the plate for axial displacement along the axis of the mirror, therby shading the opening with respect to solar energy flux reflected from the surface of the mirror to the solar energy acceptance opening.

  20. Graphene-Based Integrated Photovoltaic Energy Harvesting/Storage Device.

    PubMed

    Chien, Chih-Tao; Hiralal, Pritesh; Wang, Di-Yan; Huang, I-Sheng; Chen, Chia-Chun; Chen, Chun-Wei; Amaratunga, Gehan A J

    2015-06-24

    Energy scavenging has become a fundamental part of ubiquitous sensor networks. Of all the scavenging technologies, solar has the highest power density available. However, the energy source is erratic. Integrating energy conversion and storage devices is a viable route to obtain self-powered electronic systems which have long-term maintenance-free operation. In this work, we demonstrate an integrated-power-sheet, consisting of a string of series connected organic photovoltaic cells (OPCs) and graphene supercapacitors on a single substrate, using graphene as a common platform. This results in lighter and more flexible power packs. Graphene is used in different forms and qualities for different functions. Chemical vapor deposition grown high quality graphene is used as a transparent conductor, while solution exfoliated graphene pastes are used as supercapacitor electrodes. Solution-based coating techniques are used to deposit the separate components onto a single substrate, making the process compatible with roll-to-roll manufacture. Eight series connected OPCs based on poly(3-hexylthiophene)(P3HT):phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PC60 BM) bulk-heterojunction cells with aluminum electrodes, resulting in a ≈5 V open-circuit voltage, provide the energy harvesting capability. Supercapacitors based on graphene ink with ≈2.5 mF cm(-2) capacitance provide the energy storage capability. The integrated-power-sheet with photovoltaic (PV) energy harvesting and storage functions had a mass of 0.35 g plus the substrate.

  1. Development of a biomechanical energy harvester

    PubMed Central

    Li, Qingguo; Naing, Veronica; Donelan, J Maxwell

    2009-01-01

    Background Biomechanical energy harvesting–generating electricity from people during daily activities–is a promising alternative to batteries for powering increasingly sophisticated portable devices. We recently developed a wearable knee-mounted energy harvesting device that generated electricity during human walking. In this methods-focused paper, we explain the physiological principles that guided our design process and present a detailed description of our device design with an emphasis on new analyses. Methods Effectively harvesting energy from walking requires a small lightweight device that efficiently converts intermittent, bi-directional, low speed and high torque mechanical power to electricity, and selectively engages power generation to assist muscles in performing negative mechanical work. To achieve this, our device used a one-way clutch to transmit only knee extension motions, a spur gear transmission to amplify the angular speed, a brushless DC rotary magnetic generator to convert the mechanical power into electrical power, a control system to determine when to open and close the power generation circuit based on measurements of knee angle, and a customized orthopaedic knee brace to distribute the device reaction torque over a large leg surface area. Results The device selectively engaged power generation towards the end of swing extension, assisting knee flexor muscles by producing substantial flexion torque (6.4 Nm), and efficiently converted the input mechanical power into electricity (54.6%). Consequently, six subjects walking at 1.5 m/s generated 4.8 ± 0.8 W of electrical power with only a 5.0 ± 21 W increase in metabolic cost. Conclusion Biomechanical energy harvesting is capable of generating substantial amounts of electrical power from walking with little additional user effort making future versions of this technology particularly promising for charging portable medical devices. PMID:19549313

  2. Development of MEMS piezoelectric energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Jung-Hyun

    The research of powering devices in a microwatt range has been activated and developed by the emergence of low-power Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) technology in the past few years. The powering devices require a size that is compatible with the application, sufficient power, and extended lifetime using permanent and ubiquitous energy sources. The piezoelectric energy harvester using vibration sources is attractive due to its high conversion efficiency, simple design for miniaturizing, and lack of external voltage source. While bulk piezoelectric energy harvesters produce enough power for a few tens of mW, the insufficient power is still a major issue during miniaturizing into micro size. The piezoelectric energy harvester was fabricated by micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and developed to enhance its output power. It was designed to be resonated at the frequency range of ambient vibration source (50˜300 Hz) and convert the mechanical stress to electricity by piezoelectric thin film. The cantilever structure was chosen in this study due to its large strain, and a big proof mass at the end of tip was integrated for the same reason. This study focuses on three specific issues related to the robust fabrication process, including the integration of piezoelectric thin film, structure design for high power density, and the reliability of device. The Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) thin films were prepared by a sol-gel process and were used to fabricate energy harvesters by an optimized MEMS process. The properties of PZT thin film were studied considering the substrate effect, heat treatment, and thickness effects. The fabricated energy harvester produced 769 mVpk-pk, and 6.72 muW with the optimal resistive load of 11 kO at 127 Hz of resonant frequency. The device had dimensions of about 4 mm(L) x 2 mm(w) x 0.021 mm(H), and the Si proof mass had dimensions of 3 mm(L) x 2 mm(W) x 0.5 mm(H). Beyond this result, the technical platform for the robust fabrication

  3. Models for 31-Mode PVDF Energy Harvester for Wearable Applications

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jingjing; You, Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Currently, wearable electronics are increasingly widely used, leading to an increasing need of portable power supply. As a clean and renewable power source, piezoelectric energy harvester can transfer mechanical energy into electric energy directly, and the energy harvester based on polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) operating in 31-mode is appropriate to harvest energy from human motion. This paper established a series of theoretical models to predict the performance of 31-mode PVDF energy harvester. Among them, the energy storage one can predict the collected energy accurately during the operation of the harvester. Based on theoretical study and experiments investigation, two approaches to improve the energy harvesting performance have been found. Furthermore, experiment results demonstrate the high accuracies of the models, which are better than 95%. PMID:25114981

  4. Models for 31-mode PVDF energy harvester for wearable applications.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jingjing; You, Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Currently, wearable electronics are increasingly widely used, leading to an increasing need of portable power supply. As a clean and renewable power source, piezoelectric energy harvester can transfer mechanical energy into electric energy directly, and the energy harvester based on polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) operating in 31-mode is appropriate to harvest energy from human motion. This paper established a series of theoretical models to predict the performance of 31-mode PVDF energy harvester. Among them, the energy storage one can predict the collected energy accurately during the operation of the harvester. Based on theoretical study and experiments investigation, two approaches to improve the energy harvesting performance have been found. Furthermore, experiment results demonstrate the high accuracies of the models, which are better than 95%. PMID:25114981

  5. Models for 31-mode PVDF energy harvester for wearable applications.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jingjing; You, Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Currently, wearable electronics are increasingly widely used, leading to an increasing need of portable power supply. As a clean and renewable power source, piezoelectric energy harvester can transfer mechanical energy into electric energy directly, and the energy harvester based on polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) operating in 31-mode is appropriate to harvest energy from human motion. This paper established a series of theoretical models to predict the performance of 31-mode PVDF energy harvester. Among them, the energy storage one can predict the collected energy accurately during the operation of the harvester. Based on theoretical study and experiments investigation, two approaches to improve the energy harvesting performance have been found. Furthermore, experiment results demonstrate the high accuracies of the models, which are better than 95%.

  6. Solar Energy: Heat Transfer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knapp, Henry H., III

    This module on heat transfer is one of six in a series intended for use as supplements to currently available materials on solar energy and energy conservation. Together with the recommended texts and references (sources are identified), these modules provide an effective introduction to energy conservation and solar energy technologies. The…

  7. Solar Energy: Heat Storage.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knapp, Henry H., III

    This module on heat storage is one of six in a series intended for use as supplements to currently available materials on solar energy and energy conservation. Together with the recommended texts and references (sources are identified), these modules provide an effective introduction to energy conservation and solar energy technologies. The module…

  8. Solar Energy: Home Heating.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knapp, Henry H., III

    This module on home heating is one of six in a series intended for use as supplements to currently available materials on solar energy and energy conservation. Together with the recommended texts and references (sources are identified), these modules provide an effective introduction to energy conservation and solar energy technologies. The module…

  9. Power Management Integrated Circuit for Indoor Photovoltaic Energy Harvesting System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Vipul

    In today's world, power dissipation is a main concern for battery operated mobile devices. Key design decisions are being governed by power rather than area/delay because power requirements are growing more stringent every year. Hence, a hybrid power management system is proposed, which uses both a solar panel to harvest energy from indoor lighting and a battery to power the load. The system tracks the maximum power point of the solar panel and regulates the battery and microcontroller output load voltages through the use of an on-chip switched-capacitor DC-DC converter. System performance is verified through simulation at the 180nm technology node and is made to be integrated on-chip with 0.25 second startup time, 79% efficiency, --8/+14% ripple on the load, an average 1micro A of quiescent current (3.7micro W of power) and total on-chip area of 1.8mm2 .

  10. Energy harvesting from a backpack instrumented with piezoelectric shoulder straps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granstrom, Jonathan; Feenstra, Joel; Sodano, Henry A.; Farinholt, Kevin

    2007-10-01

    Over the past few decades the use of portable and wearable electronics has grown steadily. These devices are becoming increasingly more powerful. However, the gains that have been made in the device performance have resulted in the need for significantly higher power to operate the electronics. This issue has been further complicated due to the stagnant growth of battery technology over the past decade. In order to increase the life of these electronics, researchers have begun investigating methods of generating energy from ambient sources such that the life of the electronics can be prolonged. Recent developments in the field have led to the design of a number of mechanisms that can be used to generate electrical energy, from a variety of sources including thermal, solar, strain, inertia, etc. Many of these energy sources are available for use with humans, but their use must be carefully considered such that parasitic effects that could disrupt the user's gait or endurance are avoided. These issues have arisen from previous attempts to integrate power harvesting mechanisms into a shoe such that the energy released during a heal strike could be harvested. This study develops a novel energy harvesting backpack that can generate electrical energy from the differential forces between the wearer and the pack. The goal of this system is to make the energy harvesting device transparent to the wearer such that his or her endurance and dexterity is not compromised. This will be accomplished by replacing the traditional strap of the backpack with one made of the piezoelectric polymer polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF). Piezoelectric materials have a structure such that an applied electrical potential results in a mechanical strain. Conversely, an applied stress results in the generation of an electrical charge, which makes the material useful for power harvesting applications. PVDF is highly flexible and has a high strength, allowing it to effectively act as the load bearing

  11. Green grasses as light harvesters in dye sensitized solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shanmugam, Vinoth; Manoharan, Subbaiah; Sharafali, A.; Anandan, Sambandam; Murugan, Ramaswamy

    2015-01-01

    Chlorophylls, the major pigments presented in plants are responsible for the process of photosynthesis. The working principle of dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) is analogous to natural photosynthesis in light-harvesting and charge separation. In a similar way, natural dyes extracted from three types of grasses viz. Hierochloe Odorata (HO), Torulinium Odoratum (TO) and Dactyloctenium Aegyptium (DA) were used as light harvesters in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) were used to characterize the dyes. The electron transport mechanism and internal resistance of the DSSCs were investigated by the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The performance of the cells fabricated with the grass extract shows comparable efficiencies with the reported natural dyes. Among the three types of grasses, the DSSC fabricated with the dye extracted from Hierochloe Odorata (HO) exhibited the maximum efficiency. LC-MS investigations indicated that the dominant pigment present in HO dye was pheophytin a (Pheo a).

  12. System for harvesting water wave energy

    DOEpatents

    Wang, Zhong Lin; Su, Yanjie; Zhu, Guang; Chen, Jun

    2016-07-19

    A generator for harvesting energy from water in motion includes a sheet of a hydrophobic material, having a first side and an opposite second side, that is triboelectrically more negative than water. A first electrode sheet is disposed on the second side of the sheet of a hydrophobic material. A second electrode sheet is disposed on the second side of the sheet of a hydrophobic material and is spaced apart from the first electrode sheet. Movement of the water across the first side induces an electrical potential imbalance between the first electrode sheet and the second electrode sheet.

  13. Thermoelectric energy harvesting with quantum dots.

    PubMed

    Sothmann, Björn; Sánchez, Rafael; Jordan, Andrew N

    2015-01-21

    We review recent theoretical work on thermoelectric energy harvesting in multi-terminal quantum-dot setups. We first discuss several examples of nanoscale heat engines based on Coulomb-coupled conductors. In particular, we focus on quantum dots in the Coulomb-blockade regime, chaotic cavities and resonant tunneling through quantum dots and wells. We then turn toward quantum-dot heat engines that are driven by bosonic degrees of freedom such as phonons, magnons and microwave photons. These systems provide interesting connections to spin caloritronics and circuit quantum electrodynamics.

  14. Energy harvesting using a thermoelectric material

    DOEpatents

    Nersessian, Nersesse; Carman, Gregory P.; Radousky, Harry B.

    2008-07-08

    A novel energy harvesting system and method utilizing a thermoelectric having a material exhibiting a large thermally induced strain (TIS) due to a phase transformation and a material exhibiting a stress induced electric field is introduced. A material that exhibits such a phase transformation exhibits a large increase in the coefficient of thermal expansion over an incremental temperature range (typically several degrees Kelvin). When such a material is arranged in a geometric configuration, such as, for a example, a laminate with a material that exhibits a stress induced electric field (e.g. a piezoelectric material) the thermally induced strain is converted to an electric field.

  15. The Potential for Harvesting Energy from the Movement of Trees

    PubMed Central

    McGarry, Scott; Knight, Chris

    2011-01-01

    Over the last decade, wireless devices have decreased in size and power requirements. These devices generally use batteries as a power source but can employ additional means of power, such as solar, thermal or wind energy. However, sensor networks are often deployed in conditions of minimal lighting and thermal gradient such as densely wooded environments, where even normal wind energy harvesting is limited. In these cases a possible source of energy is from the motion of the trees themselves. We investigated the amount of energy and power available from the motion of a tree in a sheltered position, during Beaufort 4 winds. We measured the work performed by the tree to lift a mass, we measured horizontal acceleration of free movement, and we determined the angular deflection of the movement of the tree trunk, to determine the energy and power available to various types of harvesting devices. We found that the amount of power available from the tree, as demonstrated by lifting a mass, compares favourably with the power required to run a wireless sensor node. PMID:22163695

  16. The potential for harvesting energy from the movement of trees.

    PubMed

    McGarry, Scott; Knight, Chris

    2011-01-01

    Over the last decade, wireless devices have decreased in size and power requirements. These devices generally use batteries as a power source but can employ additional means of power, such as solar, thermal or wind energy. However, sensor networks are often deployed in conditions of minimal lighting and thermal gradient such as densely wooded environments, where even normal wind energy harvesting is limited. In these cases a possible source of energy is from the motion of the trees themselves. We investigated the amount of energy and power available from the motion of a tree in a sheltered position, during Beaufort 4 winds. We measured the work performed by the tree to lift a mass, we measured horizontal acceleration of free movement, and we determined the angular deflection of the movement of the tree trunk, to determine the energy and power available to various types of harvesting devices. We found that the amount of power available from the tree, as demonstrated by lifting a mass, compares favourably with the power required to run a wireless sensor node.

  17. Flow Energy Piezoelectric Bimorph Nozzle Harvester

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sherrit, Stewart; Lee, Hyeong Jae; Kim, Namhyo; Sun, Kai; Corbett, Gary; Walkemeyer, Phillip; Hasenoehrl, Jennifer; Hall, Jeffery L.; Colonius, Tim; Tosi, Luis Phillipe; Arrazola, Alvaro

    2014-01-01

    There is a need for a long-life power generation scheme that could be used downhole in an oil well to produce 1 Watt average power. There are a variety of existing or proposed energy harvesting schemes that could be used in this environment but each of these has its own limitations. The vibrating piezoelectric structure is in principle capable of operating for very long lifetimes (decades) thereby possibly overcoming a principle limitation of existing technology based on rotating turbo-machinery. In order to determine the feasibility of using piezoelectrics to produce suitable flow energy harvesting, we surveyed experimentally a variety of nozzle configurations that could be used to excite a vibrating piezoelectric structure in such a way as to enable conversion of flow energy into useful amounts of electrical power. These included reed structures, spring mass-structures, drag and lift bluff bodies and a variety of nozzles with varying flow profiles. Although not an exhaustive survey we identified a spline nozzle/piezoelectric bimorph system that experimentally produced up to 3.4 mW per bimorph. This paper will discuss these results and present our initial analyses of the device using dimensional analysis and constitutive electromechanical modeling. The analysis suggests that an order-of-magnitude improvement in power generation from the current design is possible.

  18. Flexible electret energy harvesters with parylene electret on PDMS substrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiu, Yi; Wu, Shih-Hsien

    2013-12-01

    Currently, most vibrational energy harvesters have rigid and resonant structures to harvest energy from periodic motions in specific directions. However, in some situations the motion is random and aperiodic; or the targeted energy source is the strain energy in deformation, rather than the kinetic energy in vibration. Therefore we propose and demonstrate a PDMS-based flexible energy harvester with parylene-C electret that can be attached to any deformable surfaces to harvest the stain energy caused by external deformation. The proposed flexible harvester was fabricated and characterized. The measured power at 20 Hz is 0.18 μW and 82 nW in the compression and bending modes, respectively. Such a harvester has the potential for wearable and implantable electronics applications.

  19. Solar Energy Development Progresses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chemical and Engineering News, 1975

    1975-01-01

    Discusses an engineering conference at which participants agreed that solar energy is a feasible energy source, although costs of such technology are presently very high. Also describes recent developments in solar energy research, and estimates the costs of this technology. (MLH)

  20. Solar ADEPT: Efficient Solar Energy Systems

    SciTech Connect

    2011-01-01

    Solar ADEPT Project: The 7 projects that make up ARPA-E's Solar ADEPT program, short for 'Solar Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology,' aim to improve the performance of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy systems, which convert the sun's rays into electricity. Solar ADEPT projects are integrating advanced electrical components into PV systems to make the process of converting solar energy to electricity more efficient.

  1. Flexible Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting from Mouse Click Motions.

    PubMed

    Cha, Youngsu; Hong, Jin; Lee, Jaemin; Park, Jung-Min; Kim, Keehoon

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we study energy harvesting from the mouse click motions of a robot finger and a human index finger using a piezoelectric material. The feasibility of energy harvesting from mouse click motions is experimentally and theoretically assessed. The fingers wear a glove with a pocket for including the piezoelectric material. We model the energy harvesting system through the inverse kinematic framework of parallel joints in a finger and the electromechanical coupling equations of the piezoelectric material. The model is validated through energy harvesting experiments in the robot and human fingers with the systematically varying load resistance. We find that energy harvesting is maximized at the matched load resistance to the impedance of the piezoelectric material, and the harvested energy level is tens of nJ. PMID:27399705

  2. Flexible Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting from Mouse Click Motions.

    PubMed

    Cha, Youngsu; Hong, Jin; Lee, Jaemin; Park, Jung-Min; Kim, Keehoon

    2016-07-06

    In this paper, we study energy harvesting from the mouse click motions of a robot finger and a human index finger using a piezoelectric material. The feasibility of energy harvesting from mouse click motions is experimentally and theoretically assessed. The fingers wear a glove with a pocket for including the piezoelectric material. We model the energy harvesting system through the inverse kinematic framework of parallel joints in a finger and the electromechanical coupling equations of the piezoelectric material. The model is validated through energy harvesting experiments in the robot and human fingers with the systematically varying load resistance. We find that energy harvesting is maximized at the matched load resistance to the impedance of the piezoelectric material, and the harvested energy level is tens of nJ.

  3. Flexible Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting from Mouse Click Motions

    PubMed Central

    Cha, Youngsu; Hong, Jin; Lee, Jaemin; Park, Jung-Min; Kim, Keehoon

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we study energy harvesting from the mouse click motions of a robot finger and a human index finger using a piezoelectric material. The feasibility of energy harvesting from mouse click motions is experimentally and theoretically assessed. The fingers wear a glove with a pocket for including the piezoelectric material. We model the energy harvesting system through the inverse kinematic framework of parallel joints in a finger and the electromechanical coupling equations of the piezoelectric material. The model is validated through energy harvesting experiments in the robot and human fingers with the systematically varying load resistance. We find that energy harvesting is maximized at the matched load resistance to the impedance of the piezoelectric material, and the harvested energy level is tens of nJ. PMID:27399705

  4. Energy harvesting with piezoelectric applied on shoes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camilloni, Enrico; Carloni, Mirko; Giammarini, Marco; Conti, Massimo

    2013-05-01

    In the last few years the continuous demand of energy saving has brought continuous research on low-power devices, energy storage and new sources of energy. Energy harvesting is an interesting solution that captures the energy from the environment that would otherwise be wasted. This work presents an electric-mechanical model of a piezoelectric transducer in a cantilever configuration. The model has been characterized measuring the acceleration and the open circuit voltage of a piezoelectric cantilever subjected to a sinusoidal force with different values frequency and subject to an impulsive force. The model has been used to identify the optimal position in which the piezoelectric cantilever has to be placed on a shoe in order to obtain the maximum energy while walking or running. As a second step we designed the DC-DC converter with an hysteresis comparator. The circuit is able to give energy to switch on a microprocessor for the amount of time long enough to capture and store the information required. The complete system has been implemented, installed on a shoe and used in a 10 Km running competition.

  5. Tree-inspired Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobbs, William; Hu, David

    2009-11-01

    We design and build a tabletop wind energy harvester inspired by the swaying of trees. The device consists of cantilevered cylinders (``tree trunks'') arranged linearly downwind. The bases of the cylinders contain piezoelectric transducers that capture energy from vibration of the cylinder transverse to the flow. For a particular Reynolds number, and ratio of vortex shedding frequency to cylinder natural frequency, we experimentally measure the power generated (˜ 1 micro-watt) as a function of cylinder arrangement. We report optimal spacings for generating peak power. We also report the distribution of power down the array. We qualitatively account for these trends using flow visualizations of vortex shedding using a flowing soap film dynamically matched with our piezoelectric system.

  6. Piezoelectric energy harvesting: State-of-the-art and challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toprak, Alperen; Tigli, Onur

    2014-09-01

    Piezoelectric energy harvesting has attracted wide attention from researchers especially in the last decade due to its advantages such as high power density, architectural simplicity, and scalability. As a result, the number of studies on piezoelectric energy harvesting published in the last 5 years is more than twice the sum of publications on its electromagnetic and electrostatic counterparts. This paper presents a comprehensive review on the history and current state-of-the art of piezoelectric energy harvesting. A brief theory section presents the basic principles of piezoelectric energy conversion and introduces the most commonly used mechanical architectures. The theory section is followed by a literature survey on piezoelectric energy harvesters, which are classified into three groups: (i) macro- and mesoscale, (ii) MEMS scale, and (iii) nanoscale. The size of a piezoelectric energy harvester affects a variety of parameters such as its weight, fabrication method, achievable power output level, and potential application areas. Consequently, size-based classification provides a reliable and effective basis to study various piezoelectric energy harvesters. The literature survey on each scale group is concluded with a summary, potential application areas, and future directions. In a separate section, the most prominent challenges in piezoelectric energy harvesting and the studies focusing on these challenges are discussed. The conclusion part summarizes the current standing of piezoelectric energy harvesters as possible candidates for various applications and discusses the issues that need to be addressed for realization of practical piezoelectric energy harvesting devices.

  7. Solar Energy: Solar and the Weather.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knapp, Henry H., III

    This module on solar and the weather is one of six in a series intended for use as supplements to currently available materials on solar energy and energy conservation. Together with the recommended texts and references (sources are identified), these modules provide an effective introduction to energy conservation and solar energy technologies.…

  8. Parametrization of ambient energy harvesters for complementary balanced electronic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verbelen, Yannick; Braeken, An; Touhafi, Abdellah

    2013-05-01

    The specific technical challenges associated with the design of an ambient energy powered electronic system currently requires thorough knowledge of the environment of deployment, energy harvester characteristics and power path management. In this work, a novel flexible model for ambient energy harvesters is presented that allows decoupling of the harvester's physical principles and electrical behavior using a three dimensional function. The model can be adapted to all existing harvesters, resulting in a design methodology for generic ambient energy powered systems using the presented model. Concrete examples are included to demonstrate the versatility of the presented design in the development of electronic appliances on system level.

  9. Piezomagnetoelastic broadband energy harvester: Nonlinear modeling and characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aravind Kumar, K.; Ali, S. F.; Arockiarajan, A.

    2015-11-01

    Piezomagnetoelastic energy harvesters are one among the widely explored configurations to improve the broadband characteristics of vibration energy harvesters. Such nonlinear harvesters follow a Moon beam model with two magnets at the base and one at the tip of the beam. The present article develops a geometric nonlinear mathematical model for the broadband piezomagnetoelastic energy harvester. The electromechanical coupling and the nonlinear magnetic potential equations are developed from the dimensional system parameters to describe the nonlinear dynamics exhibited by the system. The developed model is capable of characterizing the monostable, bistable and tristable operating regimes of the piezomagnetoelastic energy harvester, which are not explicit in the Duffing representation of the system. Bifurcations and attractor motions are analyzed as nonlinear functions of the distance between base magnets and the field strength of the tip magnet. The model is further used to characterize the potential wells and stable states, with due focus on the performance of the system in broadband energy harvesting.

  10. Piezoelectric energy harvesting in internal fluid flow.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyeong Jae; Sherrit, Stewart; Tosi, Luis Phillipe; Walkemeyer, Phillip; Colonius, Tim

    2015-10-14

    We consider piezoelectric flow energy harvesting in an internal flow environment with the ultimate goal powering systems such as sensors in deep oil well applications. Fluid motion is coupled to structural vibration via a cantilever beam placed in a converging-diverging flow channel. Two designs were considered for the electromechanical coupling: first; the cantilever itself is a piezoelectric bimorph; second; the cantilever is mounted on a pair of flextensional actuators. We experimentally investigated varying the geometry of the flow passage and the flow rate. Experimental results revealed that the power generated from both designs was similar; producing as much as 20 mW at a flow rate of 20 L/min. The bimorph designs were prone to failure at the extremes of flow rates tested. Finite element analysis (FEA) showed fatigue failure was imminent due to stress concentrations near the bimorph's clamped region; and that robustness could be improved with a stepped-joint mounting design. A similar FEA model showed the flextensional-based harvester had a resonant frequency of around 375 Hz and an electromechanical coupling of 0.23 between the cantilever and flextensional actuators in a vacuum. These values; along with the power levels demonstrated; are significant steps toward building a system design that can eventually deliver power in the Watts range to devices down within a well.

  11. Piezoelectric energy harvesting in internal fluid flow.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyeong Jae; Sherrit, Stewart; Tosi, Luis Phillipe; Walkemeyer, Phillip; Colonius, Tim

    2015-01-01

    We consider piezoelectric flow energy harvesting in an internal flow environment with the ultimate goal powering systems such as sensors in deep oil well applications. Fluid motion is coupled to structural vibration via a cantilever beam placed in a converging-diverging flow channel. Two designs were considered for the electromechanical coupling: first; the cantilever itself is a piezoelectric bimorph; second; the cantilever is mounted on a pair of flextensional actuators. We experimentally investigated varying the geometry of the flow passage and the flow rate. Experimental results revealed that the power generated from both designs was similar; producing as much as 20 mW at a flow rate of 20 L/min. The bimorph designs were prone to failure at the extremes of flow rates tested. Finite element analysis (FEA) showed fatigue failure was imminent due to stress concentrations near the bimorph's clamped region; and that robustness could be improved with a stepped-joint mounting design. A similar FEA model showed the flextensional-based harvester had a resonant frequency of around 375 Hz and an electromechanical coupling of 0.23 between the cantilever and flextensional actuators in a vacuum. These values; along with the power levels demonstrated; are significant steps toward building a system design that can eventually deliver power in the Watts range to devices down within a well. PMID:26473879

  12. Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting in Internal Fluid Flow

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hyeong Jae; Sherrit, Stewart; Tosi, Luis Phillipe; Walkemeyer, Phillip; Colonius, Tim

    2015-01-01

    We consider piezoelectric flow energy harvesting in an internal flow environment with the ultimate goal powering systems such as sensors in deep oil well applications. Fluid motion is coupled to structural vibration via a cantilever beam placed in a converging-diverging flow channel. Two designs were considered for the electromechanical coupling: first; the cantilever itself is a piezoelectric bimorph; second; the cantilever is mounted on a pair of flextensional actuators. We experimentally investigated varying the geometry of the flow passage and the flow rate. Experimental results revealed that the power generated from both designs was similar; producing as much as 20 mW at a flow rate of 20 L/min. The bimorph designs were prone to failure at the extremes of flow rates tested. Finite element analysis (FEA) showed fatigue failure was imminent due to stress concentrations near the bimorph’s clamped region; and that robustness could be improved with a stepped-joint mounting design. A similar FEA model showed the flextensional-based harvester had a resonant frequency of around 375 Hz and an electromechanical coupling of 0.23 between the cantilever and flextensional actuators in a vacuum. These values; along with the power levels demonstrated; are significant steps toward building a system design that can eventually deliver power in the Watts range to devices down within a well. PMID:26473879

  13. Multiple cell configuration electromagnetic vibration energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marin, Anthony; Bressers, Scott; Priya, Shashank

    2011-07-01

    This paper reports the design of an electromagnetic vibration energy harvester that doubles the magnitude of output power generated by the prior four-bar magnet configuration. This enhancement was achieved with minor increase in volume by 23% and mass by 30%. The new 'double cell' design utilizes an additional pair of magnets to create a secondary air gap, or cell, for a second coil to vibrate within. To further reduce the dimensions of the device, two coils were attached to one common cantilever beam. These unique features lead to improvements of 66% in output power per unit volume (power density) and 27% increase in output power per unit volume and mass (specific power density), from 0.1 to 0.17 mW cm-3 and 0.41 to 0.51 mW cm-3 kg-1 respectively. Using the ANSYS multiphysics analysis, it was determined that for the double cell harvester, adding one additional pair of magnets created a small magnetic gradient between air gaps of 0.001 T which is insignificant in terms of electromagnetic damping. An analytical model was developed to optimize the magnitude of transformation factor and magnetic field gradient within the gap.

  14. Harvesting Broad Frequency Band Blue Energy by a Triboelectric-Electromagnetic Hybrid Nanogenerator.

    PubMed

    Wen, Zhen; Guo, Hengyu; Zi, Yunlong; Yeh, Min-Hsin; Wang, Xin; Deng, Jianan; Wang, Jie; Li, Shengming; Hu, Chenguo; Zhu, Liping; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2016-07-26

    Ocean wave associated energy is huge, but it has little use toward world energy. Although such blue energy is capable of meeting all of our energy needs, there is no effective way to harvest it due to its low frequency and irregular amplitude, which may restrict the application of traditional power generators. In this work, we report a hybrid nanogenerator that consists of a spiral-interdigitated-electrode triboelectric nanogenerator (S-TENG) and a wrap-around electromagnetic generator (W-EMG) for harvesting ocean energy. In this design, the S-TENG can be fully isolated from the external environment through packaging and indirectly driven by the noncontact attractive forces between pairs of magnets, and W-EMG can be easily hybridized. Notably, the hybrid nanogenerator could generate electricity under either rotation mode or fluctuation mode to collect energy in ocean tide, current, and wave energy due to the unique structural design. In addition, the characteristics and advantages of outputs indicate that the S-TENG is irreplaceable for harvesting low rotation speeds (<100 rpm) or motion frequencies (<2 Hz) energy, which fits the frequency range for most of the water wave based blue energy, while W-EMG is able to produce larger output at high frequencies (>10 Hz). The complementary output can be maximized and hybridized for harvesting energy in a broad frequency range. Finally, a single hybrid nanogenerator unit was demonstrated to harvest blue energy as a practical power source to drive several LEDs under different simulated water wave conditions. We also proposed a blue energy harvesting system floating on the ocean surface that could simultaneously harvest wind, solar, and wave energy. The proposed hybrid nanogenerator renders an effective and sustainable progress in practical applications of the hybrid nanogenerator toward harvesting water wave energy offered by nature. PMID:27267558

  15. Harvesting Broad Frequency Band Blue Energy by a Triboelectric-Electromagnetic Hybrid Nanogenerator.

    PubMed

    Wen, Zhen; Guo, Hengyu; Zi, Yunlong; Yeh, Min-Hsin; Wang, Xin; Deng, Jianan; Wang, Jie; Li, Shengming; Hu, Chenguo; Zhu, Liping; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2016-07-26

    Ocean wave associated energy is huge, but it has little use toward world energy. Although such blue energy is capable of meeting all of our energy needs, there is no effective way to harvest it due to its low frequency and irregular amplitude, which may restrict the application of traditional power generators. In this work, we report a hybrid nanogenerator that consists of a spiral-interdigitated-electrode triboelectric nanogenerator (S-TENG) and a wrap-around electromagnetic generator (W-EMG) for harvesting ocean energy. In this design, the S-TENG can be fully isolated from the external environment through packaging and indirectly driven by the noncontact attractive forces between pairs of magnets, and W-EMG can be easily hybridized. Notably, the hybrid nanogenerator could generate electricity under either rotation mode or fluctuation mode to collect energy in ocean tide, current, and wave energy due to the unique structural design. In addition, the characteristics and advantages of outputs indicate that the S-TENG is irreplaceable for harvesting low rotation speeds (<100 rpm) or motion frequencies (<2 Hz) energy, which fits the frequency range for most of the water wave based blue energy, while W-EMG is able to produce larger output at high frequencies (>10 Hz). The complementary output can be maximized and hybridized for harvesting energy in a broad frequency range. Finally, a single hybrid nanogenerator unit was demonstrated to harvest blue energy as a practical power source to drive several LEDs under different simulated water wave conditions. We also proposed a blue energy harvesting system floating on the ocean surface that could simultaneously harvest wind, solar, and wave energy. The proposed hybrid nanogenerator renders an effective and sustainable progress in practical applications of the hybrid nanogenerator toward harvesting water wave energy offered by nature.

  16. Mechanics of flexible and stretchable piezoelectrics for energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Ying; Lu, BingWei; Ou, DaPeng; Feng, Xue

    2015-09-01

    As rapid development in wearable/implantable electronic devices benefit human life in daily health monitoring and disease treatment medically, all kinds of flexible and/or stretchable electronic devices are booming, together with which is the demanding of energy supply with similar mechanical property. Due to its ability in converting mechanical energy lying in human body into electric energy, energy harvesters based on piezoelectric materials are promising for applications in wearable/ implantable device's energy supply in a renewable, clean and life-long way. Here the mechanics of traditional piezoelectrics in energy harvesting is reviewed, including why piezoelectricity is the choice for minor energy harvesting to power the implantable/wearable electronics and how. Different kinds of up to date flexible piezoelectric devices for energy harvesting are introduced, such as nanogenerators based on ZnO and thin and conformal energy harvester based on PZT. A detailed theoretical model of the flexible thin film energy harvester based on PZT nanoribbons is summarized, together with the in vivo demonstration of energy harvesting by integrating it with swine heart. Then the initial researches on stretchable energy harvesters based on piezoelectric material in wavy or serpentine configuration are introduced as well.

  17. Investigations of biomimetic light energy harvesting pigments

    SciTech Connect

    Van Patten, P.G.; Donohoe, R.J.; Lindsey, J.S.; Bocian, D.F.

    1998-12-01

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Nature uses chlorophyll and other porphyrinic pigments to capture and transfer light energy as a preliminary step in photosynthesis. The design of synthetic assemblies of light harvesting and energy directing pigments has been explored through synthesis and characterization of porphyrin oligomers. In this project, pigment electronic and vibrational structures have been explored by electrochemistry and dynamic and static optical measurements. Transient absorption data reveal energy transfer between pigments with lifetimes on the order of 20--200 picoseconds, while Raman data reveal that the basic porphyrin core structure is unperturbed relative to the individual monomer units. These two findings, along with an extensive series of experiments on the oxidized oligomers, reveal that coupling between the pigments is fundamentally weak, but sufficient to allow facile energy transfer as the predominant excited state process. Modeling of the expected quantum yields for energy transfer within a variety of arrays was accomplished, thereby providing a tool to guide synthetic goals.

  18. Metamaterial electromagnetic energy harvester with high selective harvesting for left- and right-handed circularly polarized waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shang, Shuai; Yang, Shizhong; Liu, Jing; Shan, Meng; Cao, Hailin

    2016-07-01

    In this paper, a metamaterial electromagnetic energy harvester constructed via the capacitive loading of metal circular split rings is presented. Each energy-harvesting cell is loaded with a resistance that imitates the input impedance of a rectifier circuit. Specifically, the metamaterial energy harvester has high selective harvesting for left- and right-handed circularly polarized waves. Here, the energy absorption is mostly induced by the resistive load; thus, effective energy harvesting can be achieved. Moreover, the proposed energy harvester exhibits a high-efficiency harvesting for right-handed circularly polarized waves over a wide range of incident angles. Further, a transmission line model is adopted to interpret the energy harvesting mechanism, which shows that a good impedance matching and low dielectric loss can further enhance the harvesting efficiency. To demonstrate the design, a 15 × 15 unit-cell prototype is fabricated and measured, and the measured results reasonably agree with the simulated ones.

  19. Solar energy collection system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Selcuk, M. K. (Inventor)

    1977-01-01

    An improved solar energy collection system, having enhanced energy collection and conversion capabilities, is delineated. The system is characterized by a plurality of receivers suspended above a heliostat field comprising a multiplicity of reflector surfaces, each being adapted to direct a concentrated beam of solar energy to illuminate a target surface for a given receiver. A magnitude of efficiency, suitable for effectively competing with systems employed in collecting and converting energy extracted from fossil fuels, is indicated.

  20. Harvesting dissipated energy with a mesoscopic ratchet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roche, B.; Roulleau, P.; Jullien, T.; Jompol, Y.; Farrer, I.; Ritchie, D. A.; Glattli, D. C.

    2015-04-01

    The search for new efficient thermoelectric devices converting waste heat into electrical energy is of major importance. The physics of mesoscopic electronic transport offers the possibility to develop a new generation of nanoengines with high efficiency. Here we describe an all-electrical heat engine harvesting and converting dissipated power into an electrical current. Two capacitively coupled mesoscopic conductors realized in a two-dimensional conductor form the hot source and the cold converter of our device. In the former, controlled Joule heating generated by a voltage-biased quantum point contact results in thermal voltage fluctuations. By capacitive coupling the latter creates electric potential fluctuations in a cold chaotic cavity connected to external leads by two quantum point contacts. For unequal quantum point contact transmissions, a net electrical current is observed proportional to the heat produced.

  1. Harvesting dissipated energy with a mesoscopic ratchet.

    PubMed

    Roche, B; Roulleau, P; Jullien, T; Jompol, Y; Farrer, I; Ritchie, D A; Glattli, D C

    2015-04-01

    The search for new efficient thermoelectric devices converting waste heat into electrical energy is of major importance. The physics of mesoscopic electronic transport offers the possibility to develop a new generation of nanoengines with high efficiency. Here we describe an all-electrical heat engine harvesting and converting dissipated power into an electrical current. Two capacitively coupled mesoscopic conductors realized in a two-dimensional conductor form the hot source and the cold converter of our device. In the former, controlled Joule heating generated by a voltage-biased quantum point contact results in thermal voltage fluctuations. By capacitive coupling the latter creates electric potential fluctuations in a cold chaotic cavity connected to external leads by two quantum point contacts. For unequal quantum point contact transmissions, a net electrical current is observed proportional to the heat produced.

  2. Nonlinear modeling of MEMS piezoelectric energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y. C.; Huang, T. W.; Shu, Y. C.; Lin, S. C.; Wu, W. J.

    2016-04-01

    This article presents the modeling of nonlinear response of micro piezoelectric energy harvesters under amplified base excitation. The micro transducer is a composite cantilever beam made of the PZT thick film deposited on the stainless-steel substrate. The model is developed based on the Euler-Bernoulli beam theory considering geometric and inertia nonlinearities, and the reduced formulation is derived based on the Hamiltonian variational principle. The harmonic balance method is used to simulate the nonlinear frequency response under various magnitudes of excitation and electric loads. The hardening type of nonlinearity is predicted and is found to be in good agreement with experiment. However, the softening response is also observed in different samples fabricated under different conditions. Such disagreement is under investigation.

  3. Energy Harvesting Using PVDF Piezoelectric Nanofabric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shafii, Chakameh Shafii

    Energy harvesting using piezoelectric nanomaterial provides an opportunity for advancement towards self-powered electronics. The fabrication complexities and limited power output of these nano/micro generators have hindered these advancements thus far. This thesis presents a fabrication technique with electrospinning using a grounded cylinder as the collector. This method addresses the difficulties with the production and scalability of the nanogenerators. The non-aligned nanofibers are woven into a textile form onto the cylindrical drum that can be easily removed. The electrical poling and mechanical stretching induced by the electric field and the drum rotation increase the concentration of the piezoelectric beta phase in the PVDF nanofabric. The nanofabric is placed between two layers of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) that have interdigitated electrodes painted on them with silver paint. Applying continuous load onto the flexible PVDF nanofabric at 35Hz produces a peak voltage of 320 mV and maximum power of 2200 pW/(cm2) .

  4. MEMS based pyroelectric thermal energy harvester

    DOEpatents

    Hunter, Scott R; Datskos, Panagiotis G

    2013-08-27

    A pyroelectric thermal energy harvesting apparatus for generating an electric current includes a cantilevered layered pyroelectric capacitor extending between a first surface and a second surface, where the first surface includes a temperature difference from the second surface. The layered pyroelectric capacitor includes a conductive, bimetal top electrode layer, an intermediate pyroelectric dielectric layer and a conductive bottom electrode layer. In addition, a pair of proof masses is affixed at a distal end of the layered pyroelectric capacitor to face the first surface and the second surface, wherein the proof masses oscillate between the first surface and the second surface such that a pyroelectric current is generated in the pyroelectric capacitor due to temperature cycling when the proof masses alternately contact the first surface and the second surface.

  5. Energy harvesting circuit for sensor system power supply

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiala, P.; Drexler, P.

    2011-06-01

    The paper presents two example approaches to energy harvesting. Mechanical energy harvesting system is based on vibrational minigenerator. Basic relations of its analytical model are given in order to obtain an idea about the operating conditions. Electromagnetic harvesting system is based on tuned resonant nano-structure. Its concepts allows impedance matching in order to operate in given frequency range. The matching properties are verified by means of numerical finite element analysis. For power management of vibration energy harvesting system several circuit design concepts are presented together with simulation results and basic properties comparison.

  6. Solar Renewable Energy. Teaching Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buchanan, Marion; And Others

    This unit develops the concept of solar energy as a renewable resource. It includes: (1) an introductory section (developing understandings of photosynthesis and impact of solar energy); (2) information on solar energy use (including applications and geographic limitations of solar energy use); and (3) future considerations of solar energy…

  7. Experimental evaluation of a cruciform piezoelectric energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsuruta, Karina M.; Rade, Domingos A.; Finzi Neto, Roberto M.; Cavalini, Aldemir A.

    2016-10-01

    This paper describes the development and experimental evaluation of a particular type of piezoelectric energy harvester, composed of four aluminum cantilever blades to which piezoelectric patches are bonded, in such way that electric energy is generated when the blades undergo bending vibrations. Concentrated masses, whose values can be varied, are attached to the tips of the blades. Due to the geometric shape of the harvester, in which the four blades are oriented forming right angles, the harvester is named cruciform. As opposed to the large majority of previous works on the subject, in which harvesters are excited at their bases by prescribed acceleration, herein the harvester is connected to a vibrating structure excited by an imbalance force. Hence, the amount of harvested energy depends upon the dynamic interaction between the harvester and the host structure. Laboratory experiments were carried-out on a prototype connected to a tridimensional truss. The experimental setup includes a force generator consisting of an imbalanced disc driven by an electrical motor whose rotation is controlled electronically, a voltage rectifier circuit, and a battery charged with the harvested energy. After characterization of the dynamic behavior of the harvester and the host structure, both numerically and experimentally, the results of experiments are presented and discussed in terms of the voltage output of the piezoelectric transducers as function of the excitation frequency and the values of the tip masses. Also, the capacity of the harvester to charge a Lithium battery is evaluated.

  8. Solar Energy: Solar System Design Fundamentals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knapp, Henry H., III

    This module on solar system design fundamentals is one of six in a series intended for use as supplements to currently available materials on solar energy and energy conservation. Together with the recommended texts and references (sources are identified), these modules provide an effective introduction to energy conservation and solar energy…

  9. Enhanced PVDF film for multi energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karunarathna, Ranmunige Nadeeka

    PVDF is a very important piezoelectric polymer material which has a promising range of applications in a variety of fields such as acoustic sensors and transducers, electrical switches, medical instrumentation, artificial sensitive skin in robotics, automotive detection on roads, nondestructive testing, structural health monitoring and as a biocampatible material. In this research cantilever based multi energy harvester was developed to maximize the power output of PVDF sensor. Nano mixture containing ferrofluid (FF) and ZnO nano particles were used to enhance the piezoelectric output of the sensor. The samples were tested under different energy conditions to observe the behavior of nano coated PVDF film under multi energy conditions. Composition of the ZnO and FF nano particles were changed by weight, in order to achieve the optimal composition of the nano mixture. Light energy, vibration energy, combined effect of light and vibration energy, and magnetic effect were used to explore the behavior of the sensor. The sensor with 60% ZnO and 40% FF achieved a maximum power output of 10.7 microwatts when it is under the combined effect of light and vibration energy. Which is nearly 16 times more power output than PVDF sensor. When the magnetic effect is considered the sensor with 100% FF showed the highest power output of 11.2 microwatts which is nearly 17 times more power output than pure PVDF. The effective piezoelctric volume of the sensor was 0.017 cm3. In order to explore the effect of magnetic flux, cone patterns were created on the sensor by means of a external magnetic field. Stability of the cones generated on the sensor played a major role in generated power output.

  10. Harvesting vibration energy using nonlinear oscillations of an electromagnetic inductor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Christopher; Stamp, David; Kapania, Nitin R.; Mur-Miranda, José Oscar

    2010-04-01

    Harvesting energy from ambient vibration is a promising method for providing a continuous source of power for wireless sensor nodes. However, traditional energy harvesters are often derived from resonant linear oscillators which are capable of providing sufficient output power only if the dominant frequency of input vibrations closely matches the device resonant frequency. The limited scope of such devices has sparked an interest in the use of nonlinear oscillators as mechanisms for broadband energy harvesting. In this study, we investigate the harvesting performance of an electromagnetic harvester sustaining oscillations through the phenomena of magnetic levitation. The nonlinear behavior of the device is effectively modeled by Duffing's equation, and direct numerical integration confirms the broadband frequency response of the nonlinear harvester. The nonlinear harvester's power generation capabilities are directly compared to a linear electromagnetic harvester with similar dynamic parameters. Experimental testing shows that the presence of both high and low amplitude solutions for the nonlinear energy harvester results in a tendency for the oscillator to remain in a low energy state for non-harmonic vibration inputs, unless continuous energy impulses are provided. We conclude by considering future applications and improvements for such nonlinear devices.

  11. On energy harvesting module for scalable cognitive autonomous nondestructive sensing network (SCANSn) system for bridge health monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, John; Cartwright, Justin; Ha, Dong Sam; Zhang, David; Banerjee, Sourav

    2011-04-01

    The SCANSn is a structural health monitoring (SHM) system is being developed by Acellent Technologies to monitor steel bridges. The required voltage of the system is 14.4 V for active scanning, and the power consumption is approximately 8 W. The investigated energy harvesting from both solar and thermal sources to recharge the lithium-ion battery of the system. A solar panel and a Thermal Electric Generator (TEG) are used to harvest ambient energy. The thermoelectric device is placed in a Fresnel dome to maximize the temperature gradient of the TEG. During shading of the solar panel, the TEG continues to supply power to the battery charger. Since the output voltages and currents of the solar and thermal energy harvesters vary significantly, the energy harvesting module is constructed by two buck-boost converters operating in parallel. Maximal Power Point Tracking (MPPT) is employed for the buck-boost converter for the solar panel, while a fixed duty cycle converter is used for the TEG due to substantially lower power compared with the solar panel. The system design and measured results of a prototype system are presented. Our prototype system successfully demonstrates that the SCANSn system can be powered by the energy harvested from solar and thermal.

  12. Ecological impacts of energy-wood harvests: lessons from whole-tree harvesting and natural disturbance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berger, Alaina L.; Palik, Brian; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Fraver, Shawn; Bradford, John B.; Nislow, Keith H.; King, David; Brooks, Robert T.

    2013-01-01

    Recent interest in using forest residues and small-diameter material for biofuels is generating a renewed focus on harvesting impacts and forest sustainability. The rich legacy of research from whole-tree harvesting studies can be examined in light of this interest. Although this research largely focused on consequences for forest productivity, in particular carbon and nutrient pools, it also has relevance for examining potential consequences for biodiversity and aquatic ecosystems. This review is framed within a context of contrasting ecosystem impacts from whole-tree harvesting because it represents a high level of biomass removal. Although whole-tree harvesting does not fully use the nonmerchantable biomass available, it indicates the likely direction and magnitude of impacts that can occur through energy-wood harvesting compared with less-intensive conventional harvesting and to dynamics associated with various natural disturbances. The intent of this comparison is to gauge the degree of departure of energy-wood harvesting from less intensive conventional harvesting. The review of the literature found a gradient of increasing departure in residual structural conditions that remained in the forest when conventional and whole-tree harvesting was compared with stand-replacing natural disturbance. Important stand- and landscape-level processes were related to these structural conditions. The consequence of this departure may be especially potent because future energy-wood harvests may more completely use a greater range of forest biomass at potentially shortened rotations, creating a great need for research that explores the largely unknown scale of disturbance that may apply to our forest ecosystems.

  13. Pyroelectric nanogenerators for harvesting thermoelectric energy.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ya; Guo, Wenxi; Pradel, Ken C; Zhu, Guang; Zhou, Yusheng; Zhang, Yan; Hu, Youfan; Lin, Long; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2012-06-13

    Harvesting thermoelectric energy mainly relies on the Seebeck effect that utilizes a temperature difference between two ends of the device for driving the diffusion of charge carriers. However, in an environment that the temperature is spatially uniform without a gradient, the pyroelectric effect has to be the choice, which is based on the spontaneous polarization in certain anisotropic solids due to a time-dependent temperature variation. Using this effect, we experimentally demonstrate the first application of pyroelectric ZnO nanowire arrays for converting heat energy into electricity. The coupling of the pyroelectric and semiconducting properties in ZnO creates a polarization electric field and charge separation along the ZnO nanowire as a result of the time-dependent change in temperature. The fabricated nanogenerator has a good stability, and the characteristic coefficient of heat flow conversion into electricity is estimated to be ∼0.05-0.08 Vm(2)/W. Our study has the potential of using pyroelectric nanowires to convert wasted energy into electricity for powering nanodevices.

  14. Highly transparent triboelectric nanogenerator for harvesting water-related energy reinforced by antireflection coating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Qijie; Yan, Xiaoqin; Gu, Yousong; Zhang, Kui; Liang, Mengyuan; Lu, Shengnan; Zheng, Xin; Zhang, Yue

    2015-03-01

    Water-related energy is an inexhaustible and renewable energy resource in our environment, which has huge amount of energy and is not largely dictated by daytime and sunlight. The transparent characteristic plays a key role in practical applications for some devices designed for harvesting water-related energy. In this paper, a highly transparent triboelectric nanogenerator (T-TENG) was designed to harvest the electrostatic energy from flowing water. The instantaneous output power density of the T-TENG is 11.56 mW/m2. Moreover, with the PTFE film acting as an antireflection coating, the maximum transmittance of the fabricated T-TENG is 87.4%, which is larger than that of individual glass substrate. The T-TENG can be integrated with silicon-based solar cell, building glass and car glass, which demonstrates its potential applications for harvesting waste water energy in our living environment and on smart home system and smart car system.

  15. Highly transparent triboelectric nanogenerator for harvesting water-related energy reinforced by antireflection coating.

    PubMed

    Liang, Qijie; Yan, Xiaoqin; Gu, Yousong; Zhang, Kui; Liang, Mengyuan; Lu, Shengnan; Zheng, Xin; Zhang, Yue

    2015-03-13

    Water-related energy is an inexhaustible and renewable energy resource in our environment, which has huge amount of energy and is not largely dictated by daytime and sunlight. The transparent characteristic plays a key role in practical applications for some devices designed for harvesting water-related energy. In this paper, a highly transparent triboelectric nanogenerator (T-TENG) was designed to harvest the electrostatic energy from flowing water. The instantaneous output power density of the T-TENG is 11.56 mW/m(2). Moreover, with the PTFE film acting as an antireflection coating, the maximum transmittance of the fabricated T-TENG is 87.4%, which is larger than that of individual glass substrate. The T-TENG can be integrated with silicon-based solar cell, building glass and car glass, which demonstrates its potential applications for harvesting waste water energy in our living environment and on smart home system and smart car system.

  16. Harvesting

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Since the introduction of the first successful mechanical harvester, mechanized cotton harvest has continued to decrease the cost and man hours required to produce a bale of cotton. Cotton harvesting in the US is completely mechanized and is accomplished by two primary machines, the spindle picker a...

  17. Energy harvesting for human wearable and implantable bio-sensors.

    PubMed

    Mitcheson, Paul D

    2010-01-01

    There are clear trade-offs between functionality, battery lifetime and battery volume for wearable and implantable wireless-biosensors which energy harvesting devices may be able to overcome. Reliable energy harvesting has now become a reality for machine condition monitoring and is finding applications in chemical process plants, refineries and water treatment works. However, practical miniature devices that can harvest sufficient energy from the human body to power a wireless bio-sensor are still in their infancy. This paper reviews the options for human energy harvesting in order to determine power availability for harvester-powered body sensor networks. The main competing technologies for energy harvesting from the human body are inertial kinetic energy harvesting devices and thermoelectric devices. These devices are advantageous to some other types as they can be hermetically sealed. In this paper the fundamental limit to the power output of these devices is compared as a function of generator volume when attached to a human whilst walking and running. It is shown that the kinetic energy devices have the highest fundamental power limits in both cases. However, when a comparison is made between the devices using device effectivenesses figures from previously demonstrated prototypes presented in the literature, the thermal device is competitive with the kinetic energy harvesting device when the subject is running and achieves the highest power density when the subject is walking.

  18. A dimensionless model of impact piezoelectric energy harvesting with dissipation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Xinlei; Liao, Wei-Hsin

    2016-04-01

    Impact excitation is common in the environment. Impact piezoelectric energy harvesting could realize frequency up-conversion. However, the dissipation mechanism in impact piezoelectric energy harvesting has not been investigated so far. There is no comprehensive model to be able to analyze the impact piezoelectric energy harvesting thoroughly. This paper is aimed to develop a generalized model that considers dissipation mechanism of impact piezoelectric energy harvesting. In this electromechanical model, Hertzian contact theory and impact dissipation mechanism are identified as constitutive mechanisms. The impact force is compared and the energy distribution is analyzed so that input energy corresponds to impact dissipated energy, structural damping dissipated energy and harvested electrical energy. We then nondimensionalize the developed model and define five dimensionless parameters with attributed physical meanings, including dimensionless parameters of impact dissipation, mass ratio, structural damping, electromechanical coupling, and electrical load. We conclude it is more accurate to consider impact dissipation mechanism to predict impact force and harvested energy. The guideline for improving harvested energy based on parametric studies of dimensionless model is to increase mass ratio, to minimize structural damping, to maximize electromechanical coupling, to use optimal load resistance for impedance matching, and to choose proper impact velocity .

  19. Power conditioning for low-voltage piezoelectric stack energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skow, E.; Leadenham, S.; Cunefare, K. A.; Erturk, A.

    2016-04-01

    Low-power vibration and acoustic energy harvesting scenarios typically require a storage component to be charged to enable wireless sensor networks, which necessitates power conditioning of the AC output. Piezoelectric beam-type bending mode energy harvesters or other devices that operate using a piezoelectric element at resonance produce high voltage levels, for which AC-DC converters and step-down DC-DC converters have been previously investigated. However, for piezoelectric stack energy harvesters operating off-resonance and producing low voltage outputs, a step-up circuit is required for power conditioning, such as seen in electromagnetic vibration energy scavengers, RF communications, and MEMS harvesters. This paper theoretically and experimentally investigates power conditioning of a low-voltage piezoelectric stack energy harvester.

  20. Solar energy collection system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, C. G.; Stephens, J. B. (Inventor)

    1979-01-01

    A fixed, linear, ground-based primary reflector having an extended curved sawtooth-contoured surface covered with a metalized polymeric reflecting material, reflects solar energy to a movably supported collector that is kept at the concentrated line focus reflector primary. The primary reflector may be constructed by a process utilizing well known freeway paving machinery. The solar energy absorber is preferably a fluid transporting pipe. Efficient utilization leading to high temperatures from the reflected solar energy is obtained by cylindrical shaped secondary reflectors that direct off-angle energy to the absorber pipe. A seriatim arrangement of cylindrical secondary reflector stages and spot-forming reflector stages produces a high temperature solar energy collection system of greater efficiency.

  1. The case for energy harvesting on wildlife in flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shafer, Michael W.; MacCurdy, Robert; Shipley, J. Ryan; Winkler, David; Guglielmo, Christopher G.; Garcia, Ephrahim

    2015-02-01

    The confluence of advancements in microelectronic components and vibrational energy harvesting has opened the possibility of remote sensor units powered solely from the motion of their hosts. There are numerous applications of such systems, including the development of modern wildlife tracking/data-logging devices. These ‘bio-logging’ devices are typically mass-constrained because they must be carried by an animal. Thus, they have historically traded scientific capability for operational longevity due to restrictions on battery size. Recently, the precipitous decrease in the power requirements of microelectronics has been accompanied by advancements in the area of piezoelectric vibrational energy harvesting. These energy harvesting devices are now capable of powering the type of microelectronic circuits used in bio-logging devices. In this paper we consider the feasibility of employing these vibrational energy harvesters on flying vertebrates for the purpose of powering a bio-logging device. We show that the excess energy available from birds and bats could be harvested without adversely affecting their overall energy budget. We then present acceleration measurements taken on flying birds in a flight tunnel to understand modulation of flapping frequency during steady flight. Finally, we use a recently developed method of estimating the maximum power output from a piezoelectric energy harvester to determine the amount of power that could be practically harvested from a flying bird. The results of this analysis show that the average power output of a piezoelectric energy harvester mounted to a bird or bat could produce more than enough power to run a bio-logging device. We compare the power harvesting capabilities to the energy requirements of an example system and conclude that vibrational energy harvesting on flying birds and bats is viable and warrants further study, including testing.

  2. Vibration energy harvesting from random force and motion excitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Xiudong; Zuo, Lei

    2012-07-01

    A vibration energy harvester is typically composed of a spring-mass system with an electromagnetic or piezoelectric transducer connected in parallel with a spring. This configuration has been well studied and optimized for harmonic vibration sources. Recently, a dual-mass harvester, where two masses are connected in series by the energy transducer and a spring, has been proposed. The dual-mass vibration energy harvester is proved to be able to harvest more power and has a broader bandwidth than the single-mass configuration, when the parameters are optimized and the excitation is harmonic. In fact, some dual-mass vibration energy harvesters, such as regenerative vehicle suspensions and buildings with regenerative tuned mass dampers (TMDs), are subjected to random excitations. This paper is to investigate the dual-mass and single-mass vibration harvesters under random excitations using spectrum integration and the residue theorem. The output powers for these two types of vibration energy harvesters, when subjected to different random excitations, namely force, displacement, velocity and acceleration, are obtained analytically with closed-form expressions. It is also very interesting to find that the output power of the vibration energy harvesters under random excitations depends on only a few parameters in very simple and elegant forms. This paper also draws some important conclusions on regenerative vehicle suspensions and buildings with regenerative TMDs, which can be modeled as dual-mass vibration energy harvesters. It is found that, under white-noise random velocity excitation from road irregularity, the harvesting power from vehicle suspensions is proportional to the tire stiffness and road vertical excitation spectrum only. It is independent of the chassis mass, tire-wheel mass, suspension stiffness and damping coefficient. Under random wind force excitation, the power harvested from buildings with regenerative TMD will depends on the building mass only, not

  3. The Solar Energy Notebook.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rankins, William H., III; Wilson, David A.

    This publication is a handbook for the do-it-yourselfer or anyone else interested in solar space and water heating. Described are methods for calculating sun angles, available energy, heating requirements, and solar heat storage. Also described are collector and system designs with mention of some design problems to avoid. Climatological data for…

  4. Curriculum Reviews: Solar Energy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riley, Joseph P.

    1982-01-01

    Reviews Solar Energy Education Project (SEEP), a set of 10 curriculum guides emphasizing process skills as well as content for grades K-9. Solar concepts are taught almost exclusively through process activities and, although developed in Australia, the curriculum is easily adaptable to American classrooms. (Author/JN)

  5. Solar Energy Project: Text.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tullock, Bruce, Ed.; And Others

    The text is a compilation of background information which should be useful to teachers wishing to obtain some technical information on solar technology. Twenty sections are included which deal with topics ranging from discussion of the sun's composition to the legal implications of using solar energy. The text is intended to provide useful…

  6. Solar Energy Project: Reader.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tullock, Bruce, Ed.; And Others

    This document is designed to give both teachers and students the opportunity to review a variety of representative articles on solar energy. Consideration is given to the sun's role in man's past, present, and future. The present state of solar technology is examined theoretically, economically, and comparatively in light of growing need for…

  7. Solar Energy Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    A waste water treatment plant in Wilton, Maine, where sludge is converted to methane gas, and Monsanto Company's Environmental Health Laboratory in St. Louis Missouri, where more than 200 solar collectors provide preheating of boiler feed water for laboratory use are representative of Grumman's Sunstream line of solar energy equipment. This equipment was developed with technology from NASA's Apollo lunar module program.

  8. Stability-Aware Geographic Routing in Energy Harvesting Wireless Sensor Networks.

    PubMed

    Hieu, Tran Dinh; Dung, Le The; Kim, Byung-Seo

    2016-01-01

    A new generation of wireless sensor networks that harvest energy from environmental sources such as solar, vibration, and thermoelectric to power sensor nodes is emerging to solve the problem of energy limitation. Based on the photo-voltaic model, this research proposes a stability-aware geographic routing for reliable data transmissions in energy-harvesting wireless sensor networks (EH-WSNs) to provide a reliable routes selection method and potentially achieve an unlimited network lifetime. Specifically, the influences of link quality, represented by the estimated packet reception rate, on network performance is investigated. Simulation results show that the proposed method outperforms an energy-harvesting-aware method in terms of energy consumption, the average number of hops, and the packet delivery ratio. PMID:27187414

  9. Stability-Aware Geographic Routing in Energy Harvesting Wireless Sensor Networks

    PubMed Central

    Hieu, Tran Dinh; Dung, Le The; Kim, Byung-Seo

    2016-01-01

    A new generation of wireless sensor networks that harvest energy from environmental sources such as solar, vibration, and thermoelectric to power sensor nodes is emerging to solve the problem of energy limitation. Based on the photo-voltaic model, this research proposes a stability-aware geographic routing for reliable data transmissions in energy-harvesting wireless sensor networks (EH-WSNs) to provide a reliable routes selection method and potentially achieve an unlimited network lifetime. Specifically, the influences of link quality, represented by the estimated packet reception rate, on network performance is investigated. Simulation results show that the proposed method outperforms an energy-harvesting-aware method in terms of energy consumption, the average number of hops, and the packet delivery ratio. PMID:27187414

  10. Stability-Aware Geographic Routing in Energy Harvesting Wireless Sensor Networks.

    PubMed

    Hieu, Tran Dinh; Dung, Le The; Kim, Byung-Seo

    2016-05-14

    A new generation of wireless sensor networks that harvest energy from environmental sources such as solar, vibration, and thermoelectric to power sensor nodes is emerging to solve the problem of energy limitation. Based on the photo-voltaic model, this research proposes a stability-aware geographic routing for reliable data transmissions in energy-harvesting wireless sensor networks (EH-WSNs) to provide a reliable routes selection method and potentially achieve an unlimited network lifetime. Specifically, the influences of link quality, represented by the estimated packet reception rate, on network performance is investigated. Simulation results show that the proposed method outperforms an energy-harvesting-aware method in terms of energy consumption, the average number of hops, and the packet delivery ratio.

  11. Performance modeling of unmanned aerial vehicles with on-board energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anton, Steven R.; Inman, Daniel J.

    2011-03-01

    The concept of energy harvesting in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has received much attention in recent years. Solar powered flight of small aircraft dates back to the 1970s when the first fully solar flight of an unmanned aircraft took place. Currently, research has begun to investigate harvesting ambient vibration energy during the flight of UAVs. The authors have recently developed multifunctional piezoelectric self-charging structures in which piezoelectric devices are combined with thin-film lithium batteries and a substrate layer in order to simultaneously harvest energy, store energy, and carry structural load. When integrated into mass and volume critical applications, such as unmanned aircraft, multifunctional devices can provide great benefit over conventional harvesting systems. A critical aspect of integrating any energy harvesting system into a UAV, however, is the potential effect that the additional system has on the performance of the aircraft. Added mass and increased drag can significantly degrade the flight performance of an aircraft, therefore, it is important to ensure that the addition of an energy harvesting system does not adversely affect the efficiency of a host aircraft. In this work, a system level approach is taken to examine the effects of adding both solar and piezoelectric vibration harvesting to a UAV test platform. A formulation recently presented in the literature is applied to describe the changes to the flight endurance of a UAV based on the power available from added harvesters and the mass of the harvesters. Details of the derivation of the flight endurance model are reviewed and the formulation is applied to an EasyGlider remote control foam hobbyist airplane, which is selected as the test platform for this study. A theoretical study is performed in which the normalized change in flight endurance is calculated based on the addition of flexible thin-film solar panels to the upper surface of the wings, as well as the addition

  12. Hybrid energy harvesting/transmission system for embedded devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hehr, Adam; Park, Gyuhae; Farinholt, Kevin

    2012-04-01

    In most energy harvesting applications the need for a reliable long-term energy supply is essential in powering embedded sensing and control electronics. The goal of many harvesters is to extract energy from the ambient environment to power hardware; however in some applications there may be conditions in which the harvester's performance cannot meet all of the demands of the embedded electronics. One method for addressing this shortfall is to supplement harvested power through the transmission of wireless energy, a concept that has successfully been demonstrated by the authors in previous studies. In this paper we present our findings on the use of a single electromagnetic coil to harvest kinetic energy in a solenoid configuration, as well as background and directed wireless energy in the 2.4 GHz radio frequency (RF) bands commonly used in WiFi and cellular phone applications. The motivation for this study is to develop a compact energy harvester / receiver that conserves physical volume, while providing multi-modal energy harvesting capabilities. As with most hybrid systems there are performance trade-offs that must be considered when capturing energy from different physical sources. As part of this paper, many of the issues related to power transmission, physical design, and potential applications are addressed for this device.

  13. Solar thermal energy receiver

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, Karl W. (Inventor); Dustin, Miles O. (Inventor)

    1992-01-01

    A plurality of heat pipes in a shell receive concentrated solar energy and transfer the energy to a heat activated system. To provide for even distribution of the energy despite uneven impingement of solar energy on the heat pipes, absence of solar energy at times, or failure of one or more of the heat pipes, energy storage means are disposed on the heat pipes which extend through a heat pipe thermal coupling means into the heat activated device. To enhance energy transfer to the heat activated device, the heat pipe coupling cavity means may be provided with extensions into the device. For use with a Stirling engine having passages for working gas, heat transfer members may be positioned to contact the gas and the heat pipes. The shell may be divided into sections by transverse walls. To prevent cavity working fluid from collecting in the extensions, a porous body is positioned in the cavity.

  14. Energy Harvesting Chip and the Chip Based Power Supply Development for a Wireless Sensor Network

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Dasheng

    2008-01-01

    In this study, an energy harvesting chip was developed to scavenge energy from artificial light to charge a wireless sensor node. The chip core is a miniature transformer with a nano-ferrofluid magnetic core. The chip embedded transformer can convert harvested energy from its solar cell to variable voltage output for driving multiple loads. This chip system yields a simple, small, and more importantly, a battery-less power supply solution. The sensor node is equipped with multiple sensors that can be enabled by the energy harvesting power supply to collect information about the human body comfort degree. Compared with lab instruments, the nodes with temperature, humidity and photosensors driven by harvested energy had variation coefficient measurement precision of less than 6% deviation under low environmental light of 240 lux. The thermal comfort was affected by the air speed. A flow sensor equipped on the sensor node was used to detect airflow speed. Due to its high power consumption, this sensor node provided 15% less accuracy than the instruments, but it still can meet the requirement of analysis for predicted mean votes (PMV) measurement. The energy harvesting wireless sensor network (WSN) was deployed in a 24-hour convenience store to detect thermal comfort degree from the air conditioning control. During one year operation, the sensor network powered by the energy harvesting chip retained normal functions to collect the PMV index of the store. According to the one month statistics of communication status, the packet loss rate (PLR) is 2.3%, which is as good as the presented results of those WSNs powered by battery. Referring to the electric power records, almost 54% energy can be saved by the feedback control of an energy harvesting sensor network. These results illustrate that, scavenging energy not only creates a reliable power source for electronic devices, such as wireless sensor nodes, but can also be an energy source by building an energy efficient

  15. Biomimetic utilization of solar energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dzhabiev, T. S.; Shilov, Aleksandr E.

    2012-12-01

    The most interesting recent publications dealing with so-called artificial photosynthesis, i.e., the development of photocatalytic converters of solar energy to the chemical bond energy using the fundamental principles of natural oxygenic photosynthesis, are discussed. The key stages of photosynthesis that should be reproduced in the artificial converters include light harvesting and transport of the light quantum to reaction centres where photoinduced charge separation occurs to give elementary reducing agents and oxidants (electrons and holes). The dark catalytic reactions involving the elementary reducing agents and oxidants give stable end products, namely, dioxygen and carbohydrates in the natural photosynthesis or dioxygen and hydrogen in the artificial photosynthesis. The bibliography includes 99 references.

  16. Energy 101: Solar PV

    SciTech Connect

    2011-01-01

    Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems can generate clean, cost-effective power anywhere the sun shines. This video shows how a PV panel converts the energy of the sun into renewable electricity to power homes and businesses.

  17. Energy 101: Solar PV

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2016-07-12

    Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems can generate clean, cost-effective power anywhere the sun shines. This video shows how a PV panel converts the energy of the sun into renewable electricity to power homes and businesses.

  18. A piezoelectric energy-harvesting shoe system for podiatric sensing.

    PubMed

    Meier, Rich; Kelly, Nicholas; Almog, Omri; Chiang, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    This paper provides an energy-harvesting, shoe-mounted system for medical sensing using piezoelectric transducers for generating power. The electronics are integrated inside a conventional consumer shoe, measuring the pressure of the wearer's foot exerted on the sole at six locations. The electronics are completely powered by the harvested energy from walking or running, generating 10-20 μJ of energy per step that is then consumed by capturing and storing the force sensor data. The overall shoe system demonstrates that wearable sensor electronics can be adequately powered through piezoelectric energy-harvesting. PMID:25570036

  19. Note: Vibration energy harvesting based on a round acoustic fence.

    PubMed

    Cui, Xiao-bin; Huang, Cheng-ping; Hu, Jun-hui

    2015-07-01

    An energy harvester based on a round acoustic fence (RAF) has been proposed and studied. The RAF is composed of cylindrical stubs stuck in a circular array on a thin metal plate, which can confine the acoustic energy efficiently. By removing one stub and thus opening a small gap in the RAF, acoustic leakage with larger intensity can be produced at the gap opening. With the vibration source surrounded by the RAF, the energy harvesting at the gap opening has a wide bandwidth and is insensitive to the position of the vibration source. The results may have potential applications in harvesting the energy of various vibration sources in solid structure. PMID:26233415

  20. Acoustic energy harvesting based on a planar acoustic metamaterial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Shuibao; Oudich, Mourad; Li, Yong; Assouar, Badreddine

    2016-06-01

    We theoretically report on an innovative and practical acoustic energy harvester based on a defected acoustic metamaterial (AMM) with piezoelectric material. The idea is to create suitable resonant defects in an AMM to confine the strain energy originating from an acoustic incidence. This scavenged energy is converted into electrical energy by attaching a structured piezoelectric material into the defect area of the AMM. We show an acoustic energy harvester based on a meta-structure capable of producing electrical power from an acoustic pressure. Numerical simulations are provided to analyze and elucidate the principles and the performances of the proposed system. A maximum output voltage of 1.3 V and a power density of 0.54 μW/cm3 are obtained at a frequency of 2257.5 Hz. The proposed concept should have broad applications on energy harvesting as well as on low-frequency sound isolation, since this system acts as both acoustic insulator and energy harvester.

  1. Solar Energy Reporting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    Last year the people of Cleveland, Ohio were troubled by natural gas shortages during one of the coldest winters on record. The severe winter generated a great deal of interest in solar energy as an alternative source of heat. Home owners, home builders and civic officials wanted to know just how much solar energy is available in Cleveland. Now they get a daily report through the city's news media, from information supplied as a community service by NASA's Lewis Research Center. Lewis routinely makes daily measurements of solar energy as part of its continuing research in behalf of the Department of Energy. The measuring device is a sun sensor called a pyranometer (upper photo) located atop a building at the NASA Center. To make the information conveniently available to news media, Lewis developed a Voice Output Integrating Insolometer, an automated system that acquires information from the sun sensor and translates it into a recorded telephone message. The Lewis pyranometer collects sun data for 15 hours daily and measures the total solar energy yield. For reporting to the public, the information is electronically converted to a specific reading. A media representative calling in gets a voice-synthesized announcement of a two or three digit number; the number corresponds to the kilowatt-hours of solar energy that would be available to a typical 500-square-foot solar collector system. Response in Cleveland has been favorable and interest is developing in other parts of the country.

  2. Harvesting renewable energy from Earth’s mid-infrared emissions

    PubMed Central

    Byrnes, Steven J.; Blanchard, Romain; Capasso, Federico

    2014-01-01

    It is possible to harvest energy from Earth's thermal infrared emission into outer space. We calculate the thermodynamic limit for the amount of power available, and as a case study, we plot how this limit varies daily and seasonally in a location in Oklahoma. We discuss two possible ways to make such an emissive energy harvester (EEH): A thermal EEH (analogous to solar thermal power generation) and an optoelectronic EEH (analogous to photovoltaic power generation). For the latter, we propose using an infrared-frequency rectifying antenna, and we discuss its operating principles, efficiency limits, system design considerations, and possible technological implementations. PMID:24591604

  3. A vibration energy harvester using magnet/piezoelectric composite transducer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Jing; Chen, Hengjia; Wen, Yumei; Li, Ping; Yang, Jin; Li, Wenli

    2014-05-01

    In this research, a vibration energy harvester employing the magnet/piezoelectric composite transducer to convert mechanical vibration energy into electrical energy is presented. The electric output performance of a vibration energy harvester has been investigated. Compared to traditional magnetoelectric transducer, the proposed vibration energy harvester has some remarkable characteristic which do not need binder. The experimental results show that the presented vibration energy harvester can obtain an average power of 0.39 mW for an acceleration of 0.6g at frequency of 38 Hz. Remarkably, this power is a very encouraging power figure that gives the prospect of being able to power a widely range of wireless sensors in wireless sensor network.

  4. Fabrication of Scalable Indoor Light Energy Harvester and Study for Agricultural IoT Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, M.; Nakamura, A.; Kunii, A.; Kusano, K.; Futagawa, M.

    2015-12-01

    A scalable indoor light energy harvester was fabricated by microelectromechanical system (MEMS) and printing hybrid technology and evaluated for agricultural IoT applications under different environmental input power density conditions, such as outdoor farming under the sun, greenhouse farming under scattered lighting, and a plant factory under LEDs. We fabricated and evaluated a dye- sensitized-type solar cell (DSC) as a low cost and “scalable” optical harvester device. We developed a transparent conductive oxide (TCO)-less process with a honeycomb metal mesh substrate fabricated by MEMS technology. In terms of the electrical and optical properties, we achieved scalable harvester output power by cell area sizing. Second, we evaluated the dependence of the input power scalable characteristics on the input light intensity, spectrum distribution, and light inlet direction angle, because harvested environmental input power is unstable. The TiO2 fabrication relied on nanoimprint technology, which was designed for optical optimization and fabrication, and we confirmed that the harvesters are robust to a variety of environments. Finally, we studied optical energy harvesting applications for agricultural IoT systems. These scalable indoor light harvesters could be used in many applications and situations in smart agriculture.

  5. Bright Idea: Solar Energy Primer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Missouri State Dept. of Natural Resources, Jefferson City.

    This booklet is intended to address questions most frequently asked about solar energy. It provides basic information and a starting point for prospective solar energy users. Information includes discussion of solar space heating, solar water heating, and solar greenhouses. (Author/RE)

  6. A MEMS vibration energy harvester for automotive applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Schaijk, R.; Elfrink, R.; Oudenhoven, J.; Pop, V.; Wang, Z.; Renaud, M.

    2013-05-01

    The objective of this work is to develop MEMS vibration energy harvesters for tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), they can be located on the rim or on the inner-liner of the car tire. Nowadays TPMS modules are powered by batteries with a limited lifetime. A large effort is ongoing to replace batteries with small and long lasting power sources like energy harvesters [1]. The operation principle of vibration harvesters is mechanical resonance of a seismic mass, where mechanical energy is converted into electrical energy. In general, vibration energy harvesters are of specific interest for machine environments where random noise or repetitive shock vibrations are present. In this work we present the results for MEMS based vibration energy harvesting for applying on the rim or inner-liner. The vibrations on the rim correspond to random noise. A vibration energy harvester can be described as an under damped mass-spring system acting like a mechanical band-pass filter, and will resonate at its natural frequency [2]. At 0.01 g2/Hz noise amplitude the average power can reach the level that is required to power a simple wireless sensor node, approximately 10 μW [3]. The dominant vibrations on the inner-liner consist mainly of repetitive high amplitude shocks. With a shock, the seismic mass is displaced, after which the mass will "ring-down" at its natural resonance frequency. During the ring-down period, part of the mechanical energy is harvested. On the inner-liner of the tire repetitive (one per rotation) high amplitude (few hundred g) shocks occur. The harvester enables an average power of a few tens of μW [4], sufficient to power a more sophisticated wireless sensor node that can measure additional tire-parameters besides pressure. In this work we characterized MEMS vibration energy harvesters for noise and shock excitation. We validated their potential for TPMS modules by measurements and simulation.

  7. Enhanced Charge Separation and FRET at Heterojunctions between Semiconductor Nanoparticles and Conducting Polymer Nanofibers for Efficient Solar Light Harvesting

    PubMed Central

    Sardar, Samim; Kar, Prasenjit; Remita, Hynd; Liu, Bo; Lemmens, Peter; Kumar Pal, Samir; Ghosh, Srabanti

    2015-01-01

    Energy harvesting from solar light employing nanostructured materials offer an economic way to resolve energy and environmental issues. We have developed an efficient light harvesting heterostructure based on poly(diphenylbutadiyne) (PDPB) nanofibers and ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) via a solution phase synthetic route. ZnO NPs (~20 nm) were homogeneously loaded onto the PDPB nanofibers as evident from several analytical and spectroscopic techniques. The photoinduced electron transfer from PDPB nanofibers to ZnO NPs has been confirmed by steady state and picosecond-resolved photoluminescence studies. The co-sensitization for multiple photon harvesting (with different energies) at the heterojunction has been achieved via a systematic extension of conjugation from monomeric to polymeric diphenyl butadiyne moiety in the proximity of the ZnO NPs. On the other hand, energy transfer from the surface defects of ZnO NPs (~5 nm) to PDPB nanofibers through Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) confirms the close proximity with molecular resolution. The manifestation of efficient charge separation has been realized with ~5 fold increase in photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants in comparison to polymer nanofibers counterpart under visible light irradiation. Our results provide a novel approach for the development of nanoheterojunctions for efficient light harvesting which will be helpful in designing future solar devices. PMID:26611253

  8. Enhanced Charge Separation and FRET at Heterojunctions between Semiconductor Nanoparticles and Conducting Polymer Nanofibers for Efficient Solar Light Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sardar, Samim; Kar, Prasenjit; Remita, Hynd; Liu, Bo; Lemmens, Peter; Kumar Pal, Samir; Ghosh, Srabanti

    2015-11-01

    Energy harvesting from solar light employing nanostructured materials offer an economic way to resolve energy and environmental issues. We have developed an efficient light harvesting heterostructure based on poly(diphenylbutadiyne) (PDPB) nanofibers and ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) via a solution phase synthetic route. ZnO NPs (~20 nm) were homogeneously loaded onto the PDPB nanofibers as evident from several analytical and spectroscopic techniques. The photoinduced electron transfer from PDPB nanofibers to ZnO NPs has been confirmed by steady state and picosecond-resolved photoluminescence studies. The co-sensitization for multiple photon harvesting (with different energies) at the heterojunction has been achieved via a systematic extension of conjugation from monomeric to polymeric diphenyl butadiyne moiety in the proximity of the ZnO NPs. On the other hand, energy transfer from the surface defects of ZnO NPs (~5 nm) to PDPB nanofibers through Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) confirms the close proximity with molecular resolution. The manifestation of efficient charge separation has been realized with ~5 fold increase in photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants in comparison to polymer nanofibers counterpart under visible light irradiation. Our results provide a novel approach for the development of nanoheterojunctions for efficient light harvesting which will be helpful in designing future solar devices.

  9. Enhanced Charge Separation and FRET at Heterojunctions between Semiconductor Nanoparticles and Conducting Polymer Nanofibers for Efficient Solar Light Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Sardar, Samim; Kar, Prasenjit; Remita, Hynd; Liu, Bo; Lemmens, Peter; Kumar Pal, Samir; Ghosh, Srabanti

    2015-01-01

    Energy harvesting from solar light employing nanostructured materials offer an economic way to resolve energy and environmental issues. We have developed an efficient light harvesting heterostructure based on poly(diphenylbutadiyne) (PDPB) nanofibers and ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) via a solution phase synthetic route. ZnO NPs (~20 nm) were homogeneously loaded onto the PDPB nanofibers as evident from several analytical and spectroscopic techniques. The photoinduced electron transfer from PDPB nanofibers to ZnO NPs has been confirmed by steady state and picosecond-resolved photoluminescence studies. The co-sensitization for multiple photon harvesting (with different energies) at the heterojunction has been achieved via a systematic extension of conjugation from monomeric to polymeric diphenyl butadiyne moiety in the proximity of the ZnO NPs. On the other hand, energy transfer from the surface defects of ZnO NPs (~5 nm) to PDPB nanofibers through Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) confirms the close proximity with molecular resolution. The manifestation of efficient charge separation has been realized with ~5 fold increase in photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants in comparison to polymer nanofibers counterpart under visible light irradiation. Our results provide a novel approach for the development of nanoheterojunctions for efficient light harvesting which will be helpful in designing future solar devices. PMID:26611253

  10. Enhanced Charge Separation and FRET at Heterojunctions between Semiconductor Nanoparticles and Conducting Polymer Nanofibers for Efficient Solar Light Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Sardar, Samim; Kar, Prasenjit; Remita, Hynd; Liu, Bo; Lemmens, Peter; Kumar Pal, Samir; Ghosh, Srabanti

    2015-11-27

    Energy harvesting from solar light employing nanostructured materials offer an economic way to resolve energy and environmental issues. We have developed an efficient light harvesting heterostructure based on poly(diphenylbutadiyne) (PDPB) nanofibers and ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) via a solution phase synthetic route. ZnO NPs (~20 nm) were homogeneously loaded onto the PDPB nanofibers as evident from several analytical and spectroscopic techniques. The photoinduced electron transfer from PDPB nanofibers to ZnO NPs has been confirmed by steady state and picosecond-resolved photoluminescence studies. The co-sensitization for multiple photon harvesting (with different energies) at the heterojunction has been achieved via a systematic extension of conjugation from monomeric to polymeric diphenyl butadiyne moiety in the proximity of the ZnO NPs. On the other hand, energy transfer from the surface defects of ZnO NPs (~5 nm) to PDPB nanofibers through Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) confirms the close proximity with molecular resolution. The manifestation of efficient charge separation has been realized with ~5 fold increase in photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants in comparison to polymer nanofibers counterpart under visible light irradiation. Our results provide a novel approach for the development of nanoheterojunctions for efficient light harvesting which will be helpful in designing future solar devices.

  11. Piezo-magnetic energy harvesting from movement of the head

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delnavaz, Aidin; Voix, Jérémie

    2015-12-01

    This paper reports the design, modeling, optimization and testing of the piezomagnetic energy harvester that is capable of converting non-harmonic movement of the human head into electricity. The rolling magnet and doubly-clamped piezoelectric configuration of the device makes the energy harvesting from small-amplitude and low-frequency movements of the human head efficient. In addition, the device can inconspicuously be integrated with the glasses. the experimental results show that the energy harvester device could deliver the maximum instantaneous power of 0.5 μW to the impedance matched resistive load.

  12. The Energy Crisis and Solar Energy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bockris, J. O'M.

    1974-01-01

    Examines the status of the energy crisis in Australia. Outlines energy alternatives for the 1990's and describes the present status of solar energy research and the economics of solar energy systems. (GS)

  13. Solar Energy Project, Activities: General Solar Topics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tullock, Bruce, Ed.; And Others

    This guide contains lesson plans and outlines of activities which introduce students to concepts and issues relating to solar energy. Lessons frequently presented in the context of solar energy as it relates to contemporary energy problems. Each unit presents an introduction; objectives; necessary skills and knowledge; materials; method;…

  14. Solar Energy Demonstrations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    Solar energy furnishes all of the heating and hot water needs, plus 80 percent of the air conditioning, for the two-story Reedy Creek building. A unique feature of this installation is that the 16 semi-cylindrical solar collectors (center photo on opposite page with closeup of a single collector below it) are not mounted atop the roof as is customary, they actually are the roof. This arrangement eliminates the usual trusses, corrugated decking and insulating concrete in roof construction; that, in turn, reduces overall building costs and makes the solar installation more attractive economically. The Reedy Creek collectors were designed and manufactured by AAI Corporation of Baltimore, Maryland.

  15. Plasmonic harvesting of light energy for Suzuki coupling reactions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Feng; Li, Chuanhao; Chen, Huanjun; Jiang, Ruibin; Sun, Ling-Dong; Li, Quan; Wang, Jianfang; Yu, Jimmy C; Yan, Chun-Hua

    2013-04-17

    The efficient use of solar energy has received wide interest due to increasing energy and environmental concerns. A potential means in chemistry is sunlight-driven catalytic reactions. We report here on the direct harvesting of visible-to-near-infrared light for chemical reactions by use of plasmonic Au-Pd nanostructures. The intimate integration of plasmonic Au nanorods with catalytic Pd nanoparticles through seeded growth enabled efficient light harvesting for catalytic reactions on the nanostructures. Upon plasmon excitation, catalytic reactions were induced and accelerated through both plasmonic photocatalysis and photothermal conversion. Under the illumination of an 809 nm laser at 1.68 W, the yield of the Suzuki coupling reaction was ~2 times that obtained when the reaction was thermally heated to the same temperature. Moreover, the yield was also ~2 times that obtained from Au-TiOx-Pd nanostructures under the same laser illumination, where a 25-nm-thick TiOx shell was introduced to prevent the photocatalysis process. This is a more direct comparison between the effect of joint plasmonic photocatalysis and photothermal conversion with that of sole photothermal conversion. The contribution of plasmonic photocatalysis became larger when the laser illumination was at the plasmon resonance wavelength. It increased when the power of the incident laser at the plasmon resonance was raised. Differently sized Au-Pd nanostructures were further designed and mixed together to make the mixture light-responsive over the visible to near-infrared region. In the presence of the mixture, the reactions were completed within 2 h under sunlight, while almost no reactions occurred in the dark.

  16. Energy from solar balloons

    SciTech Connect

    Grena, Roberto

    2010-04-15

    Solar balloons are hot air balloons in which the air is heated directly by the sun, by means of a black absorber. The lift force of a tethered solar balloon can be used to produce energy by activating a generator during the ascending motion of the balloon. The hot air is then discharged when the balloon reaches a predefined maximum height. A preliminary study is presented, along with an efficiency estimation and some considerations on possible realistic configurations. (author)

  17. Energy harvesting performance of a broadband electromagnetic vibration energy harvester for powering industrial wireless sensor networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Long; Chen, Renwen; Xia, Huakang; Zhang, Xiaoxiao

    2016-04-01

    To supply power to wireless sensor networks, a type of broadband electromagnetic vibration energy harvester (VEH) using bistable vibration scavenging structure is proposed. It consists of a planar spring, an electromagnetic transducer with an annular magnetic circuit, and a coil assembly with a ferrite bobbin inside. A nonlinear magnetic force respecting to the relative displacement is generated by the ferrite bobbin, and to broaden the working frequency bandwidth of the VEH. Moreover, the ferrite bobbin increases the magnetic flux linkage gradient of the coil assembly in its moving region, and further to improve its output voltage. The dynamic behaviors of the VEH are analyzed and predicted by finite element analysis and ODE calculation. Validation experiments are carried out and show that the VEH can harvest high energy in a relatively wide excitation frequency band. The further test shows that the load power of the VEH with a load resistor of 90Ω can reach 10mW level in a wide frequency bandwidth when the acceleration level of the harmonic excitation is 1g. It can ensure the intermittent work of many sensors as well as wireless communication modules at least.

  18. Tunable localized surface plasmon-enabled broadband light harvesting enhancement for high-efficiency panchromatic dye-sensitized solar cells

    PubMed Central

    DANG, XIANGNAN; QI, JIFA; KLUG, MATTHEW T.; CHEN, PO-YEN; YUN, DONG SOO; FANG, NICHOLAS X.; HAMMOND, PAULA T.; BELCHER, ANGELA M.

    2014-01-01

    In photovoltaic devices, light harvesting (LH) and carrier collection have opposite relations with the thickness of the photoactive layer, which imposes a fundamental compromise for the power conversion efficiency (PCE). Unbalanced LH at different wavelengths further reduces the achievable PCE. Here, we report a novel approach to broadband balanced LH and panchromatic solar energy conversion using multiple-core-shell structured oxide-metal-oxide plasmonic nanoparticles. These nanoparticles feature tunable localized surface plasmon resonance frequencies and the required thermal stability during device fabrication. By simply blending the plasmonic nanoparticles with available photoactive materials, the broadband LH of practical photovoltaic devices can be significantly enhanced. We demonstrate a panchromatic dye-sensitized solar cell with an increased PCE from 8.3% to 10.8%, mainly through plasmon-enhanced photo-absorption in the otherwise less harvested region of solar spectrum. This general and simple strategy also highlights easy fabrication, and may benefit solar cells using other photo-absorbers or other types of solar-harvesting devices. PMID:23339821

  19. Energy harvesting from low frequency applications using piezoelectric materials

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Huidong; Tian, Chuan; Deng, Z. Daniel

    2014-12-15

    In an effort to eliminate the replacement of the batteries of electronic devices that are difficult or impractical to service once deployed, harvesting energy from mechanical vibrations or impacts using piezoelectric materials has been researched over the last several decades. However, a majority of these applications have very low input frequencies. This presents a challenge for the researchers to optimize the energy output of piezoelectric energy harvesters, due to the relatively high elastic moduli of piezoelectric materials used to date. This paper reviews the current state of research on piezoelectric energy harvesting devices for low frequency (0–100 Hz) applications and the methods that have been developed to improve the power outputs of the piezoelectric energy harvesters. Various key aspects that contribute to the overall performance of a piezoelectric energy harvester are discussed, including geometries of the piezoelectric element, types of piezoelectric material used, techniques employed to match the resonance frequency of the piezoelectric element to input frequency of the host structure, and electronic circuits specifically designed for energy harvesters.

  20. Energy harvesting from mastication forces via a smart tooth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bani-Hani, Muath; Karami, M. Amin

    2016-04-01

    The batteries of the current pacing devices are relatively large and occupy over 60 percent of the size of pulse generators. Therefore, they cannot be placed in the subtle areas of human body. In this paper, the mastication force and the resulting tooth pressure are converted to electricity. The pressure energy can be converted to electricity by using the piezoelectric effect. The tooth crown is used as a power autonomous pulse generator. We refer to this envisioned pulse generator as the smart tooth. The smart tooth is in the form of a dental implant. A piezoelectric vibration energy harvester is designed and modeled for this purpose. The Piezoelectric based energy harvesters investigated and analyzed in this paper initially includes a single degree of freedom piezoelectric based stack energy harvester which utilizes a harvesting circuit employing the case of a purely resistive circuit. The next step is utilizing and investigating a bimorph piezoelectric beam which is integrated/embedded in the smart tooth implant. Mastication process causes the bimorph beam to buckle or return to unbuckled condition. The transitions results in vibration of the piezoelectric beam and thus generate energy. The power estimated by the two mechanisms is in the order of hundreds of microwatts. Both scenarios of the energy harvesters are analytically modeled. The exact analytical solution of the piezoelectric beam energy harvester with Euler-Bernoulli beam assumptions is presented. The electro-mechanical coupling and the geometric nonlinearities have been included in the model for the piezoelectric beam.

  1. Microbial fuel cell energy harvesting using synchronous flyback converter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alaraj, Muhannad; Ren, Zhiyong Jason; Park, Jae-Do

    2014-02-01

    Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) use biodegradable substrates, such as wastewater and marine sediments to generate electrical energy. To harvest more energy from an MFC, power electronic converters have recently been used to replace resistors or charge pumps, because they have superior controllability on MFC's operating point and higher efficiency in energy storage for different applications. Conventional diode-based energy harvesters suffer from low efficiency because of the energy losses through the diode. Replacing the diode with a MOSFET can reduce the conduction loss, but it requires an isolated gate signal to control the floating secondary MOSFET, which makes the control circuitry complex. This study presents a new MFC energy harvesting regime using a synchronous flyback converter, which implements a transformer-based harvester with much simpler configuration and improves harvesting efficiency by 37.6% compared to a diode based boost converter, from 33.5% to 46.1%. The proposed harvester was able to store 2.27 J in the output capacitor out of 4.91 J generated energy from the MFC, while the boost converter can capture 1.67 J from 4.95 J.

  2. Solar energy conversion.

    SciTech Connect

    Crabtree, G. W.; Lewis, N. S.

    2008-03-01

    If solar energy is to become a practical alternative to fossil fuels, we must have efficient ways to convert photons into electricity, fuel, and heat. The need for better conversion technologies is a driving force behind many recent developments in biology, materials, and especially nanoscience. The Sun has the enormous untapped potential to supply our growing energy needs. The barrier to greater use of the solar resource is its high cost relative to the cost of fossil fuels, although the disparity will decrease with the rising prices of fossil fuels and the rising costs of mitigating their impact on the environment and climate. The cost of solar energy is directly related to the low conversion efficiency, the modest energy density of solar radiation, and the costly materials currently required. The development of materials and methods to improve solar energy conversion is primarily a scientific challenge: Breakthroughs in fundamental understanding ought to enable marked progress. There is plenty of room for improvement, since photovoltaic conversion efficiencies for inexpensive organic and dye-sensitized solar cells are currently about 10% or less, the conversion efficiency of photosynthesis is less than 1%, and the best solar thermal efficiency is 30%. The theoretical limits suggest that we can do much better. Solar conversion is a young science. Its major growth began in the 1970s, spurred by the oil crisis that highlighted the pervasive importance of energy to our personal, social, economic, and political lives. In contrast, fossil-fuel science has developed over more than 250 years, stimulated by the Industrial Revolution and the promise of abundant fossil fuels. The science of thermodynamics, for example, is intimately intertwined with the development of the steam engine. The Carnot cycle, the mechanical equivalent of heat, and entropy all played starring roles in the development of thermodynamics and the technology of heat engines. Solar-energy science faces

  3. An innovative tri-directional broadband piezoelectric energy harvester

    SciTech Connect

    Su, Wei-Jiun Zu, Jean

    2013-11-11

    This paper presents a tri-directional piezoelectric energy harvester that is able to harvest vibration energy over a wide bandwidth from three orthogonal directions. The harvester consists of a main beam, an auxiliary beam, and a spring-mass system, with magnets integrated to introduce nonlinear force and couple the three sub-systems. Theoretical analysis and experiments were performed at constant acceleration under frequency sweeps to acquire frequency responses. The experimental results show that the voltage can achieve more than 2 V over more than 5 Hz of bandwidth with 1 MΩ load in the three orthogonal directions.

  4. An innovative tri-directional broadband piezoelectric energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Wei-Jiun; Zu, Jean

    2013-11-01

    This paper presents a tri-directional piezoelectric energy harvester that is able to harvest vibration energy over a wide bandwidth from three orthogonal directions. The harvester consists of a main beam, an auxiliary beam, and a spring-mass system, with magnets integrated to introduce nonlinear force and couple the three sub-systems. Theoretical analysis and experiments were performed at constant acceleration under frequency sweeps to acquire frequency responses. The experimental results show that the voltage can achieve more than 2 V over more than 5 Hz of bandwidth with 1 MΩ load in the three orthogonal directions.

  5. Activities for Teaching Solar Energy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mason, Jack Lee; Cantrell, Joseph S.

    1980-01-01

    Plans and activities are suggested for teaching elementary children about solar energy. Directions are included for constructing a flat plate collector and a solar oven. Activities for a solar field day are given. (SA)

  6. Classic papers in Solar Energy: Solar distillation

    SciTech Connect

    Howe, E.D.

    1990-06-01

    The following Classic Paper was presented by Professor Howe at the first international Conference on Solar Energy at Tucson, Arizona, USA in 1955. That conference was sponsored by the Association of Applied solar Energy (AFASE), the precursor of ISES. Although this paper does not represent the many developments in solar distillation later applied by Professor Howe in the South Pacific, it is a classic paper because it presents Professor Howe's pioneering work in setting up the Seawater Conversion Laboratory in Richmond for the University of California at Berkeley, US. The research of Professor Howe and his colleagues at the Seawater Conversion Laboratory formed the foundation of contemporary solar energy desalination and distillation systems.

  7. Experimental study of energy harvesting in UHF band

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernacki, Ł.; Gozdur, R.; Salamon, N.

    2016-04-01

    A huge progress of down-sizing technology together with trend of decreasing power consumption and, on the other hand, increasing efficiency of electronics give the opportunity to design and to implement the energy harvesters as main power sources. This paper refers to the energy that can be harvested from electromagnetic field in the unlicensed frequency bands. The paper contains description of the most popular techniques and transducers that can be applied in energy harvesting domain. The overview of current research and commercial solutions was performed for bands in ultra-high frequency range, which are unlicensed and where transmission is not limited by administrative arrangements. During the experiments with Powercast’s receiver, the same bands as sources of electromagnetic field were taken into account. This power source is used for conducting radio-communication process and excess energy could be used for powering the extra electronic circuits. The paper presents elaborated prototype of energy harvesting system and the measurements of power harvested in ultra-high frequency range. The evaluation of RF energy harvesters for powering ultra-low power (ULP) electronic devices was performed based on survey and results of the experiments.

  8. An improved stability characterization for aeroelastic energy harvesting applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Javed, U.; Abdelkefi, A.; Akhtar, I.

    2016-07-01

    An enhanced stability characterization for aeroelastic energy harvesters is introduced by using both the normal form of the Hopf bifurcation and shooting method. Considering a triangular cylinder subjected to transverse galloping oscillations and a piezoelectric transducer to convert mechanical vibrations to electrical power, it is demonstrated that the nonlinear normal form is very beneficial to characterize the type of instability near bifurcation and determine the influence of structural and/or aerodynamic nonlinearities on the performance of the harvester. It is also shown that this tool is strong in terms of designing reliable aeroelastic energy harvesters. The results show that this technique can accurately predict the harvester's response only near bifurcation, however, cannot predict the stable solutions of the harvester when subcritical Hopf bifurcation takes place. To cover these drawbacks, the shooting method is employed. It turns out that this approach is beneficial in determining the stable and unstable solutions of the system and associated turning points. The results also show that the Floquet multipliers, obtained as the by-product of this method, can be used to characterize the response's type of the harvester. Thus, the normal form of the Hopf bifurcation and shooting method predictions can supplement each other to design stable and reliable aeroelastic energy harvesters.

  9. A hybrid electromagnetic energy harvesting device for low frequency vibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Hyung-Jo; Kim, In-Ho; Min, Dong Yi; Sim, Sung-Han; Koo, Jeong-Hoi

    2013-04-01

    An electromagnetic energy harvesting device, which converts a translational base motion into a rotational motion by using a rigid bar having a moving mass pivoted on a hinged point with a power spring, has been recently developed for use of civil engineering structures having low natural frequencies. The device utilizes the relative motion between moving permanent magnets and a fixed solenoid coil in order to harvest electrical power. In this study, the performance of the device is enhanced by introducing a rotational-type generator at a hinged point. In addition, a mechanical stopper, which makes use of an auxiliary energy harvesting part to further improve the efficiency, is incorporated into the device. The effectiveness of the proposed hybrid energy harvesting device based on electromagnetic mechanism is verified through a series of laboratory tests.

  10. Development of enhanced piezoelectric energy harvester induced by human motion.

    PubMed

    Minami, Y; Nakamachi, E

    2012-01-01

    In this study, a high frequency piezoelectric energy harvester converted from the human low vibrated motion energy was newly developed. This hybrid energy harvester consists of the unimorph piezoelectric cantilever and a couple of permanent magnets. One magnet was attached at the end of cantilever, and the counterpart magnet was set at the end of the pendulum. The mechanical energy provided through the human walking motion, which is a typical ubiquitous presence of vibration, is converted to the electric energy via the piezoelectric cantilever vibration system. At first, we studied the energy convert mechanism and the performance of our energy harvester, where the resonance free vibration of unimorph cantilever with one permanent magnet under a rather high frequency was induced by the artificial low frequency vibration. The counterpart magnet attached on the pendulum. Next, we equipped the counterpart permanent magnet pendulum, which was fluctuated under a very low frequency by the human walking, and the piezoelectric cantilever, which had the permanent magnet at the end. The low-to-high frequency convert "hybrid system" can be characterized as an enhanced energy harvest one. We examined and obtained maximum values of voltage and power in this system, as 1.2V and 1.2 µW. Those results show the possibility to apply for the energy harvester in the portable and implantable Bio-MEMS devices.

  11. A Shoe-Embedded Piezoelectric Energy Harvester for Wearable Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jingjing; You, Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Harvesting mechanical energy from human motion is an attractive approach for obtaining clean and sustainable electric energy to power wearable sensors, which are widely used for health monitoring, activity recognition, gait analysis and so on. This paper studies a piezoelectric energy harvester for the parasitic mechanical energy in shoes originated from human motion. The harvester is based on a specially designed sandwich structure with a thin thickness, which makes it readily compatible with a shoe. Besides, consideration is given to both high performance and excellent durability. The harvester provides an average output power of 1 mW during a walk at a frequency of roughly 1 Hz. Furthermore, a direct current (DC) power supply is built through integrating the harvester with a power management circuit. The DC power supply is tested by driving a simulated wireless transmitter, which can be activated once every 2–3 steps with an active period lasting 5 ms and a mean power of 50 mW. This work demonstrates the feasibility of applying piezoelectric energy harvesters to power wearable sensors. PMID:25019634

  12. A shoe-embedded piezoelectric energy harvester for wearable sensors.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jingjing; You, Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Harvesting mechanical energy from human motion is an attractive approach for obtaining clean and sustainable electric energy to power wearable sensors, which are widely used for health monitoring, activity recognition, gait analysis and so on. This paper studies a piezoelectric energy harvester for the parasitic mechanical energy in shoes originated from human motion. The harvester is based on a specially designed sandwich structure with a thin thickness, which makes it readily compatible with a shoe. Besides, consideration is given to both high performance and excellent durability. The harvester provides an average output power of 1 mW during a walk at a frequency of roughly 1 Hz. Furthermore, a direct current (DC) power supply is built through integrating the harvester with a power management circuit. The DC power supply is tested by driving a simulated wireless transmitter, which can be activated once every 2-3 steps with an active period lasting 5 ms and a mean power of 50 mW. This work demonstrates the feasibility of applying piezoelectric energy harvesters to power wearable sensors. PMID:25019634

  13. A shoe-embedded piezoelectric energy harvester for wearable sensors.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jingjing; You, Zheng

    2014-07-11

    Harvesting mechanical energy from human motion is an attractive approach for obtaining clean and sustainable electric energy to power wearable sensors, which are widely used for health monitoring, activity recognition, gait analysis and so on. This paper studies a piezoelectric energy harvester for the parasitic mechanical energy in shoes originated from human motion. The harvester is based on a specially designed sandwich structure with a thin thickness, which makes it readily compatible with a shoe. Besides, consideration is given to both high performance and excellent durability. The harvester provides an average output power of 1 mW during a walk at a frequency of roughly 1 Hz. Furthermore, a direct current (DC) power supply is built through integrating the harvester with a power management circuit. The DC power supply is tested by driving a simulated wireless transmitter, which can be activated once every 2-3 steps with an active period lasting 5 ms and a mean power of 50 mW. This work demonstrates the feasibility of applying piezoelectric energy harvesters to power wearable sensors.

  14. Low-frequency meandering piezoelectric vibration energy harvester.

    PubMed

    Berdy, David F; Srisungsitthisunti, Pornsak; Jung, Byunghoo; Xu, Xianfan; Rhoads, Jeffrey F; Peroulis, Dimitrios

    2012-05-01

    The design, fabrication, and characterization of a novel low-frequency meandering piezoelectric vibration energy harvester is presented. The energy harvester is designed for sensor node applications where the node targets a width-to-length aspect ratio close to 1:1 while simultaneously achieving a low resonant frequency. The measured power output and normalized power density are 118 μW and 5.02 μW/mm(3)/g(2), respectively, when excited by an acceleration magnitude of 0.2 g at 49.7 Hz. The energy harvester consists of a laser-machined meandering PZT bimorph. Two methods, strain-matched electrode (SME) and strain-matched polarization (SMP), are utilized to mitigate the voltage cancellation caused by having both positive and negative strains in the piezoelectric layer during operation at the meander's first resonant frequency. We have performed finite element analysis and experimentally demonstrated a prototype harvester with a footprint of 27 x 23 mm and a height of 6.5 mm including the tip mass. The device achieves a low resonant frequency while maintaining a form factor suitable for sensor node applications. The meandering design enables energy harvesters to harvest energy from vibration sources with frequencies less than 100 Hz within a compact footprint.

  15. An electromechanical finite element model for piezoelectric energy harvester plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Marqui Junior, Carlos; Erturk, Alper; Inman, Daniel J.

    2009-10-01

    Vibration-based energy harvesting has been investigated by several researchers over the last decade. The goal in this research field is to power small electronic components by converting the waste vibration energy available in their environment into electrical energy. Recent literature shows that piezoelectric transduction has received the most attention for vibration-to-electricity conversion. In practice, cantilevered beams and plates with piezoceramic layers are employed as piezoelectric energy harvesters. The existing piezoelectric energy harvester models are beam-type lumped parameter, approximate distributed parameter and analytical distributed parameter solutions. However, aspect ratios of piezoelectric energy harvesters in several cases are plate-like and predicting the power output to general (symmetric and asymmetric) excitations requires a plate-type formulation which has not been covered in the energy harvesting literature. In this paper, an electromechanically coupled finite element (FE) plate model is presented for predicting the electrical power output of piezoelectric energy harvester plates. Generalized Hamilton's principle for electroelastic bodies is reviewed and the FE model is derived based on the Kirchhoff plate assumptions as typical piezoelectric energy harvesters are thin structures. Presence of conductive electrodes is taken into account in the FE model. The predictions of the FE model are verified against the analytical solution for a unimorph cantilever and then against the experimental and analytical results of a bimorph cantilever with a tip mass reported in the literature. Finally, an optimization problem is solved where the aluminum wing spar of an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) is modified to obtain a generator spar by embedding piezoceramics for the maximum electrical power without exceeding a prescribed mass addition limit.

  16. Liquid-Desiccant Vapor Separation Reduces the Energy Requirements of Atmospheric Moisture Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Gido, Ben; Friedler, Eran; Broday, David M

    2016-08-01

    An innovative atmospheric moisture harvesting system is proposed, where water vapor is separated from the air prior to cooling and condensation. The system was studied using a model that simulates its three interconnected cycles (air, desiccant, and water) over a range of ambient conditions, and optimal configurations are reported for different operation conditions. Model results were compared to specifications of commercial atmospheric moisture harvesting systems and found to represent saving of 5-65% of the electrical energy requirements due to the vapor separation process. We show that the liquid desiccant separation stage that is integrated into atmospheric moisture harvesting systems can work under a wide range of environmental conditions using low grade or solar heating as a supplementary energy source, and that the performance of the combined system is superior.

  17. Liquid-Desiccant Vapor Separation Reduces the Energy Requirements of Atmospheric Moisture Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Gido, Ben; Friedler, Eran; Broday, David M

    2016-08-01

    An innovative atmospheric moisture harvesting system is proposed, where water vapor is separated from the air prior to cooling and condensation. The system was studied using a model that simulates its three interconnected cycles (air, desiccant, and water) over a range of ambient conditions, and optimal configurations are reported for different operation conditions. Model results were compared to specifications of commercial atmospheric moisture harvesting systems and found to represent saving of 5-65% of the electrical energy requirements due to the vapor separation process. We show that the liquid desiccant separation stage that is integrated into atmospheric moisture harvesting systems can work under a wide range of environmental conditions using low grade or solar heating as a supplementary energy source, and that the performance of the combined system is superior. PMID:27435379

  18. Multiphysics Simulation in the Development of Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nesarajah, Marco; Frey, Georg

    2016-03-01

    This contribution presents a model-based development process for thermoelectric energy harvesting systems. Such systems convert thermal energy into electrical energy and produce enough energy to supply low-power devices. Realizations require three main challenges to be solved: to guarantee optimal thermal connection of the thermoelectric generators, to find a good design for the energy harvesting system, and to find an optimal electrical connection. Therefore, a development process is presented here. The process is divided into different steps and supports the developer in finding an optimal thermoelectric energy harvesting system for a given heat source and given objectives (technical and economical). During the process, several steps are supported by simulation models. Based on developed model libraries in Modelica®/Dymola®, thermal, thermoelectrical, electrical, and control components can be modeled, integrated into different variants, and verified step by step before the system is physically built and finally validated. The process is illustrated by an example through all the steps.

  19. Efficient Light Harvester Layer Prepared by Solid/Mist Interface Reaction for Perovskite Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Xia, Xiang; Li, Hongcui; Wu, Wenyi; Li, Yanhua; Fei, Dehou; Gao, Chunxiao; Liu, Xizhe

    2015-08-12

    A solid/mist reaction method is developed to produce well-crystallized light harvester layers without pinhole defects for perovskite solar cells. The reaction based on mist precursor can be facilely operated with low process temperature. And it can effectively control the volume of CH3NH3I solution and the reaction temperature, which affect the quality of perovskite harvester layers and the performance of perovskite solar cells remarkably. Under optimized condition, the efficiencies of devices reach 16.2% with the average efficiency of 14.9%. The solid/mist reaction is also used to fabricate planar junction solar cells and a PCE of 14.9% is obtained.

  20. High-efficiency integrated piezoelectric energy harvesting systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hande, Abhiman; Shah, Pradeep

    2010-04-01

    This paper describes hierarchically architectured development of an energy harvesting (EH) system that consists of micro and/or macro-scale harvesters matched to multiple components of remote wireless sensor and communication nodes. The micro-scale harvesters consist of thin-film MEMS piezoelectric cantilever arrays and power generation modules in IC-like form to allow efficient EH from vibrations. The design uses new high conversion efficiency thin-film processes combined with novel cantilever structures tuned to multiple resonant frequencies as broadband arrays. The macro-scale harvesters are used to power the collector nodes that have higher power specifications. These bulk harvesters can be integrated with efficient adaptive power management circuits that match transducer impedance and maximize power harvested from multiple scavenging sources with very low intrinsic power consumption. Texas MicroPower, Inc. is developing process based on a composition that has the highest reported energy density as compared to other commercially available bulk PZT-based sensor/actuator ceramic materials and extending it to thin-film materials and miniature conversion transducer structures. The multiform factor harvesters can be deployed for several military and commercial applications such as underground unattended sensors, sensors in oil rigs, structural health monitoring, supply chain management, and battlefield applications such as sensors on soldier apparel, equipment, and wearable electronics.

  1. Tunable bistable devices for harvesting energy from spinning wheels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elhadidi, Mohamed; Helal, Mohammed; Nassar, Omar; Arafa, Mustafa; Zeyada, Yasser

    2015-04-01

    Bistable systems have recently been employed for vibration energy harvesting owing to their favorable dynamic characteristics and desirable response for wideband excitation. In this paper, we investigate the use of bistable harvesters to extract energy from spinning wheels. The proposed harvester consists of a piezoelectric cantilever beam that is mounted on a rigid spinning hub and carries a tip mass in the form of a permanent magnet. Magnetic repulsion forces from an opposite magnet cause the beam to possess two stable equilibrium positions. Inter-well lead-lag oscillations caused by rotation in a vertical plane provide a good source for energy extraction. The design offers frequency tuning, as the centrifugal forces strain the harvester, thereby increasing its natural frequency to cope with a variable rotational speed. This has applications in self-powered sensors mounted on spinning wheels, such as tire pressure monitoring sensors. An effort is made to select the design parameters to enable the harvester to exhibit favorable inter-well oscillations across a range of rotational speeds for enhanced energy harvesting. Findings of the present work are verified both numerically and experimentally.

  2. Energy harvesting under excitations of time-varying frequency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seuaciuc-Osório, Thiago; Daqaq, Mohammed F.

    2010-06-01

    The design and optimization of energy harvesters capable of scavenging energy efficiently from realistic environments require a deep understanding of their transduction under non-stationary and random excitations. Otherwise, their small energy outputs can be further decreased lowering their efficiency and rendering many critical and possibly life saving technologies inefficient. As a first step towards this critical understanding, this effort investigates the response of energy harvesters to harmonic excitations of time-varying frequency. Such excitations can be used to represent the behavior of realistic vibratory environments whose frequency varies or drifts with time. Specifically, we consider a piezoelectric stack-type harvester subjected to a harmonic excitation of constant amplitude and a sinusoidally varying frequency. We analyze the response of the harvester in the fixed-frequency scenario then use the Jacobi-Anger's expansion to analyze the response in the time-varying case. We obtain analytical expressions for the harvester's response, output voltage, and power. In-depth analysis of the attained results reveals that the solution to the more complex time-varying frequency can be understood through a process which "samples" the fixed-frequency response curve at a discrete and fixed frequency interval then multiplies the response by proper weights. Extensive discussions addressing the effect of the excitation parameters on the output power is presented leading to some initial suggestions pertinent to the harvester's design and optimization in the sinusoidally varying frequency case.

  3. Low power electronic interface for electrostatic energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen Phan, Tra; Azadmehr, Mehdi; Phu Le, Cuong; Halvorsen, Einar

    2015-12-01

    This paper presents design and simulation of a power electronic interface circuit for MEMS electrostatic energy harvesters. The designed circuit is applicable to highly miniaturized electrostatic harvesters with small transducer capacitances below 10 pF. It is based on comb- drive harvesters with two anti-phase capacitors that are connected as charge pumps and uses a flyback-path scheme. Controlled activation and deactivation of sub-circuits, some by help of clocking, were exploited to reduce power consumption down to 1.03 μW. Net power generation can be achieved with as low initial voltage as 3.0 V.

  4. Compact electret energy harvester with high power output

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pondrom, P.; Sessler, G. M.; Bös, J.; Melz, T.

    2016-08-01

    Compact electret energy harvesters, based on a design recently introduced, are presented. Using electret surface potentials in the 400 V regime and a seismic mass of 10 g, it was possible to generate output power up to 0.6 mW at 36 Hz for an input acceleration of 1 g. Following the presentation of an analytical model allowing for the calculation of the power generated in a load resistance at the resonance frequency of the harvesters, experimental results are shown and compared to theoretical predictions. Finally, the performance of the electret harvesters is assessed using a figure of merit.

  5. Theoretical modeling and experimental realization of dynamically magnified thermoacoustic-piezoelectric energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nouh, M.; Aldraihem, O.; Baz, A.

    2014-07-01

    Conventional thermoacoustic-piezoelectric (TAP) harvesters convert thermal energy, such as solar or waste heat energy, directly into electrical energy without the need for any moving components. The input thermal energy generates a steep temperature gradient along a porous medium. At a critical threshold of the temperature gradient, self-sustained acoustic waves are developed inside an acoustic resonator. The associated pressure fluctuations impinge on a piezoelectric diaphragm, placed at the end of the resonator. In this study, the TAP harvester is coupled with an auxiliary elastic structure in the form of a simple spring-mass system to amplify the strain experienced by the piezoelectric element. The auxiliary structure is referred to as a dynamic magnifier and has been shown in different areas to significantly amplify the deflection of vibrating structures. A comprehensive model of the dynamically magnified thermoacoustic-piezoelectric (DMTAP) harvester has been developed that includes equations of motions of the system's mechanical components, the harvested voltage, the mechanical impedance of the coupled structure at the resonator end and the equations necessary to compute the self-excited frequencies of oscillations inside the acoustic resonator. Theoretical results confirmed that significant amplification of the harvested power is feasible if the magnifier's parameters are properly chosen. The performance characteristics of experimental prototypes of a thermoacoustic-piezoelectric resonator with and without the magnifier are examined. The obtained experimental findings are validated against the theoretical results. Dynamic magnifiers serve as a novel approach to enhance the effectiveness of thermoacoustic energy harvested from waste heat by increasing the efficiency of their harvesting components.

  6. System design and power management for ultra low energy applications using energy harvesting techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shao, Hui

    Micro-systems with features of tiny volume and wireless communications are developed for different applications. To prolong devices' lifetime, energy harvesting techniques which use environmental energy as the power source are proposed. Although the amount of environmental energy is theoretically infinite, it is usually unstable and the instantaneous power available is limited. To utilize the environmental energy efficiently, power management circuits have to be built to track the unstable energy status and extract maximum power from the energy transducer. In this work, we use solar energy as an example and demonstrate the design of power management circuit for micro-systems that use energy harvesting techniques. An inductor-less solar power management system was proposed and built. The system targets to operate in all lighting environments. When the light intensity is low, a charge pump is used to step up the output voltage from the photovoltaic cell. Meanwhile, charge pump switching frequency can be auto-adjusted to transfer maximum solar power to the load. Another power management circuit was proposed and designed for solar energy harvesting systems. It is based on single inductor dual-input dual-output DC-DC converter. The converter clamps photovoltaic cells to a point where maximum solar power is extracted. At the same time, it generates a stable output voltage to power the load. Also, the converter schedules energy utilization among different energy sources and consumers. The single inductor implementation can reduce the devices' volume and cost. For devices that have very stringent volume requirement, it may not be possible to have built-in battery, and the load is powered by environmental energy only. To cater for the source characteristic, power management is executed in the load side. A charge based computation methodology was proposed where the load operation is controlled by the source energy status. Moreover, a control strategy was derived to improve

  7. Solar Energy Now.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rose, Harvey, Ed.

    Twenty articles addressing different aspects of solar energy are compiled in this book. They represent the views of different governmental and non-governmental organizations, members of congress, and other individuals including, for example, Barry Commoner and Amory Lovins. Topics discussed include the need for federal support, passive solar…

  8. Solar Photovoltaic Energy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ehrenreich, Henry; Martin, John H.

    1979-01-01

    The goals of solar photovoltaic technology in contributing to America's future energy needs are presented in this study conducted by the American Physical Society. Although the time needed for photovoltaics to become popular is several decades away, according to the author, short-range applications are given. (Author/SA)

  9. Harvesting Energy from the Counterbalancing (Weaving) Movement in Bicycle Riding

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yoonseok; Yeo, Jeongjin; Priya, Shashank

    2012-01-01

    Bicycles are known to be rich source of kinetic energy, some of which is available for harvesting during speedy and balanced maneuvers by the user. A conventional dynamo attached to the rim can generate a large amount of output power at an expense of extra energy input from the user. However, when applying energy conversion technology to human powered equipments, it is important to minimize the increase in extra muscular activity and to maximize the efficiency of human movements. This study proposes a novel energy harvesting methodology that utilizes lateral oscillation of bicycle frame (weaving) caused by user weight shifting movements in order to increase the pedaling force in uphill riding or during quick speed-up. Based on the 3D motion analysis, we designed and implemented the prototype of an electro-dynamic energy harvester that can be mounted on the bicycle's handlebar to collect energy from the side-to-side movement. The harvester was found to generate substantial electric output power of 6.6 mW from normal road riding. It was able to generate power even during uphill riding which has never been shown with other approaches. Moreover, harvesting of energy from weaving motion seems to increase the economy of cycling by helping efficient usage of human power. PMID:23112598

  10. Harvesting energy from the counterbalancing (weaving) movement in bicycle riding.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yoonseok; Yeo, Jeongjin; Priya, Shashank

    2012-01-01

    Bicycles are known to be rich source of kinetic energy, some of which is available for harvesting during speedy and balanced maneuvers by the user. A conventional dynamo attached to the rim can generate a large amount of output power at an expense of extra energy input from the user. However, when applying energy conversion technology to human powered equipments, it is important to minimize the increase in extra muscular activity and to maximize the efficiency of human movements. This study proposes a novel energy harvesting methodology that utilizes lateral oscillation of bicycle frame (weaving) caused by user weight shifting movements in order to increase the pedaling force in uphill riding or during quick speed-up. Based on the 3D motion analysis, we designed and implemented the prototype of an electro-dynamic energy harvester that can be mounted on the bicycle's handlebar to collect energy from the side-to-side movement. The harvester was found to generate substantial electric output power of 6.6 mW from normal road riding. It was able to generate power even during uphill riding which has never been shown with other approaches. Moreover, harvesting of energy from weaving motion seems to increase the economy of cycling by helping efficient usage of human power.

  11. Harvesting energy from the counterbalancing (weaving) movement in bicycle riding.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yoonseok; Yeo, Jeongjin; Priya, Shashank

    2012-01-01

    Bicycles are known to be rich source of kinetic energy, some of which is available for harvesting during speedy and balanced maneuvers by the user. A conventional dynamo attached to the rim can generate a large amount of output power at an expense of extra energy input from the user. However, when applying energy conversion technology to human powered equipments, it is important to minimize the increase in extra muscular activity and to maximize the efficiency of human movements. This study proposes a novel energy harvesting methodology that utilizes lateral oscillation of bicycle frame (weaving) caused by user weight shifting movements in order to increase the pedaling force in uphill riding or during quick speed-up. Based on the 3D motion analysis, we designed and implemented the prototype of an electro-dynamic energy harvester that can be mounted on the bicycle's handlebar to collect energy from the side-to-side movement. The harvester was found to generate substantial electric output power of 6.6 mW from normal road riding. It was able to generate power even during uphill riding which has never been shown with other approaches. Moreover, harvesting of energy from weaving motion seems to increase the economy of cycling by helping efficient usage of human power. PMID:23112598

  12. Vibration energy harvesting using Galfenol-based transducer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berbyuk, Viktor

    2013-04-01

    In this paper the novel design of Galfenol based vibration energy harvester is presented. The device uses Galfenol rod diameter 6.35 mm and length 50mm, polycrystalline, production grade, manufactured by FSZM process by ETREMA Product Inc. For experimental study of the harvester, the test rig was developed. It was found by experiment that for given frequency of external excitation there exist optimal values of bias and pre-stress which maximize generated voltage and harvested power. Under optimized operational conditions and external excitations with frequency 50Hz the designed transducer generates about 10 V and harvests about 0,45 W power. Within the running conditions, the Galfenol rod power density was estimated to 340mW/cm3. The obtained results show high practical potential of Galfenol based sensors for vibration-to-electrical energy conversion, structural health monitoring, etc.

  13. Solar energy research and utilization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cherry, W. R.

    1974-01-01

    The role of solar energy is visualized in the heating and cooling of buildings, in the production of renewable gaseous, liquid and solid fuels, and in the production of electric power over the next 45 years. Potential impacts of solar energy on various energy markets, and estimated costs of such solar energy systems are discussed. Some typical solar energy utilization processes are described in detail. It is expected that at least 20% of the U.S. total energy requirements by 2020 will be delivered from solar energy.

  14. Interface Circuit for Vibration Energy Harvesting with Adjustable Bias Voltage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, J.; Lefeuvre, E.; Mathias, H.; Costa, F.

    2015-12-01

    This paper presents a new interface circuit for electrostatic vibration energy harvesting with adjustable bias voltage. An electronic switch is used to modify the circuit configuration so that the harvested energy increases the voltage across a biasing capacitor. Decrease of this biasing capacitor voltage occurs naturally due to the circuit imperfections. Such a control of the bias voltage enables to adjust the amount of energy converted by the variable capacitor on each cycle. This feature can be used to optimize the mechanical damping induced by the energy conversion process in order to maximize the harvested power. Another feature of this interface circuit is that it is capable to get high bias voltage whatever the battery voltage with low energy loss.

  15. Optical arc sensor using energy harvesting power source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Kyoo Nam; Rho, Hee Hyuk

    2016-06-01

    Wireless sensors without external power supply gained considerable attention due to convenience both in installation and operation. Optical arc detecting sensor equipping with self sustaining power supply using energy harvesting method was investigated. Continuous energy harvesting method was attempted using thermoelectric generator to supply standby power in micro ampere scale and operating power in mA scale. Peltier module with heat-sink was used for high efficiency electricity generator. Optical arc detecting sensor with hybrid filter showed insensitivity to fluorescent and incandescent lamps under simulated distribution panel condition. Signal processing using integrating function showed selective arc discharge detection capability to different arc energy levels, with a resolution below 17J energy difference, unaffected by bursting arc waveform. The sensor showed possibility for application to arc discharge detecting sensor in power distribution panel. Also experiment with proposed continuous energy harvesting method using thermoelectric power showed possibility as a self sustainable power source of remote sensor.

  16. MIMO Precoding for Networked Control Systems with Energy Harvesting Sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, Songfu; Lau, Vincent K. N.

    2016-09-01

    In this paper, we consider a MIMO networked control system with an energy harvesting sensor, where an unstable MIMO dynamic system is connected to a controller via a MIMO fading channel. We focus on the energy harvesting and MIMO precoding design at the sensor so as to stabilize the unstable MIMO dynamic plant subject to the energy availability constraint at the sensor. Using the Lyapunov optimization approach, we propose a closed-form dynamic energy harvesting and dynamic MIMO precoding solution, which has an event-driven control structure. Furthermore, the MIMO precoding solution is shown to have an eigenvalue water-filling structure, where the water level depends on the state estimation covariance, energy queue and the channel state, and the sea bed level depends on the state estimation covariance. The proposed scheme is also compared with various baselines and we show that significant performance gains can be achieved.

  17. Practical energy harvesting for microbial fuel cells: a review.

    PubMed

    Wang, Heming; Park, Jae-Do; Ren, Zhiyong Jason

    2015-03-17

    The microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology offers sustainable solutions for distributed power systems and energy positive wastewater treatment, but the generation of practically usable power from MFCs remains a major challenge for system scale up and application. Commonly used external resistors will not harvest any usable energy, so energy-harvesting circuits are needed for real world applications. This review summarizes, explains, and discusses the different energy harvesting methods, components, and systems that can extract and condition the MFC energy for direct utilization. This study aims to assist environmental scientists and engineers to gain fundamental understandings of these electronic systems and algorithms, and it also offers research directions and insights on how to overcome the barriers, so the technology can be further advanced and applied in larger scale.

  18. Carbon Nanotube Passive Intermodulation Device for Nonlinear Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerner, Mitchell; Perez, Israel; Rockway, John

    2014-03-01

    The navy is interested in designing RF front-ends for receivers to handle high power jammers and other strong interferers. Instead of blocking that energy or dissipating it as heat in filters or amplifiers, this project investigates re-directing that energy for harvesting and storage. The approach is based on channelizing a high power jamming signal into a passive intermodulation device to create intermodulation products in sub-band frequencies, which could then be harvested for energy. The intermodulation device is fabricated using carbon nanotube transistors and such devices can be modified by creating chemical defects in the sidewalls of the nanotubes and locally gating the devices with a slowly varying electric field. These effects controllably enhance the hysteretic non-linearity in the transistors IV behavior. Combining these components with a RF energy harvester on the back-end should optimize the re-use of inbound jamming energy while maximizing the utility of standard back end radio components.

  19. Development of an Energy Harvesting Device using Piezoceramic Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulkarni, Vainatey

    Piezoelectric energy harvesters are increasingly being pursued for their potential to replace finite-life batteries in wireless sensor modules and for their potential to create self-powered devices. This work presents the development of a novel piezoelectric harvester that attempts to improve upon the power output limitations of current piezoelectric harvesting technology. This novel harvester uses the concept of torsion on a tube to produce shear stresses and hence uses improved piezoelectric properties of the shear mode of piezoceramics to generate higher power outputs. This concept is first presented in this work and a proof-of-concept prototype is utilized to experimentally demonstrate the validity of this novel device. After this, the behaviour of the novel harvester is explored through an investigation into three cross-section geometries of the torsion tube and varying geometries of the eccentric mass using three different comparison metrics. Through this, it is observed that configurations with higher torsional compliance and high eccentric mass inertias have the potential for the highest power output and highest harvester effectiveness. However, the mechanical damping in the system is also found to significantly impact the harvester output resulting in prototypes of the various configurations not performing as expected. As a result of this discrepancy, the factors affecting the performance of the harvester are analyzed in greater detail through the development of a mathematical model that is then used to develop a set of guidelines to direct the design of a torsion harvester for a desired application. These guidelines are then used to develop an improved torsion harvester with a demonstrated ability to produce 1.2 mW of output power at its resonant frequency to power a wireless sensor module. Finally, the use of alternative materials such as single crystals of PMN-PT in the torsion harvester is also examined. Through finite element simulations and with

  20. Purdue Solar Energy Utilization Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Agrawal, Rakesh

    2014-01-21

    The objective of this project is to establish and set-up a laboratory that will facilitate research and development of new low-cost and high-efficiency solar energy utilization technologies at Purdue University. The outcome will help spur the creation of solar energy start-up companies and eventually a solar energy industry in Indiana that can help fulfill the growing national demand for solar energy.

  1. Piezoelectric energy harvesting from heartbeat vibrations for leadless pacemakers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ansari, M. H.; Karami, M. Amin

    2015-12-01

    This paper studies energy harvesting from heartbeat vibrations using fan-folded piezoelectric beams. The generated energy from the heartbeat can be used to power a leadless pacemaker. In order to utilize the available 3 dimensional space to the energy harvester, we chose the fan-folded design. The proposed device consists of several piezoelectric beams stacked on top of each other. The size for this energy harvester is 2 cm by 0.5 cm by 1 cm, which makes the natural frequency very high. High natural frequency is one major concern about the micro-scaled energy harvesters. By utilizing the fan-folded geometry and adding tip mass and link mass to the configuration, this natural frequency is reduced to the desired range. This fan-folded design makes it possible to generate more than 10 μW of power. The proposed device does not incorporate magnets and is thus Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) compatible. Although our device is a linear energy harvester, it is shown that the device is relatively insensitive to the heartrate. The natural frequencies and the mode shapes of the device are calculated. An analytical solution is presented and the method is verified by experimental investigation. We use a closed loop shaker controller and a shaker to simulate the heartbeat vibrations. The developed analytical model is verified through comparison of theoretical and experimental tip displacement and acceleration frequency response functions.

  2. Feasibility study of thermal energy harvesting using lead free pyroelectrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karim, Hasanul; Sarker, Md Rashedul H.; Shahriar, Shaimum; Arif Ishtiaque Shuvo, Mohammad; Delfin, Diego; Hodges, Deidra; (Bill Tseng, Tzu-Liang; Roberson, David; Love, Norman; Lin, Yirong

    2016-05-01

    Energy harvesting has significant potential for applications in energizing wireless sensors and charging energy storage devices. To date, one of the most widely investigated materials for mechanical and thermal energy harvesting is lead zirconate titanate (PZT). However, lead has detrimental effects on the environment and on health. Hence, alternative materials are required for this purpose. In this paper, a lead free material, lithium niobate (LNB) is investigated as a potential material for pyroelectric energy harvesting. Although its theoretical pyroelectric properties are lower compared to PZT, it has better properties than other lead free alternatives such as ZnO. In addition, LNB has a high Curie temperature of about 1142 °C, which makes it applicable for high temperature energy harvesting, where other pyroelectric ceramics are not suitable. Herein, an energy harvesting and storage system composed of a single crystal LNB and a porous carbon-based super-capacitor was investigated. It is found that with controlled heating and cooling, a single wafer of LNB (75 mm diameter and 0.5 mm thickness) could generate 437.72 nW cm-3 of power and it could be used to charge a super-capacitor with a charging rate of 2.63 mV (h cm3)-1.

  3. Energy Harvesting for Structural Health Monitoring Sensor Networks

    SciTech Connect

    Park, G.; Farrar, C. R.; Todd, M. D.; Hodgkiss, T.; Rosing, T.

    2007-02-26

    This report has been developed based on information exchanges at a 2.5-day workshop on energy harvesting for embedded structural health monitoring (SHM) sensing systems that was held June 28-30, 2005, at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The workshop was hosted by the LANL/UCSD Engineering Institute (EI). This Institute is an education- and research-focused collaboration between Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Jacobs School of Engineering. A Statistical Pattern Recognition paradigm for SHM is first presented and the concept of energy harvesting for embedded sensing systems is addressed with respect to the data acquisition portion of this paradigm. Next, various existing and emerging sensing modalities used for SHM and their respective power requirements are summarized, followed by a discussion of SHM sensor network paradigms, power requirements for these networks and power optimization strategies. Various approaches to energy harvesting and energy storage are discussed and limitations associated with the current technology are addressed. This discussion also addresses current energy harvesting applications and system integration issues. The report concludes by defining some future research directions and possible technology demonstrations that are aimed at transitioning the concept of energy harvesting for embedded SHM sensing systems from laboratory research to field-deployed engineering prototypes.

  4. Survey of energy harvesting and energy scavenging approaches for on-site powering of wireless sensor- and microinstrument-networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, D.; Dulai, G.; Karanassios, Vassili

    2013-05-01

    Energy (or power) harvesting can be defined as the gathering and either storing or immediately using energy "freely" available in a local environment. Examples include harvesting energy from obvious sources such as photon-fluxes (e.g., solar), or wind or water waves, or from unusual sources such as naturally occurring pH differences. Energy scavenging can be defined as gathering and storing or immediately re-using energy that has been discarded, for instance, waste heat from air conditioning units, from in-door lights or from everyday actions such as walking or from body-heat. Although the power levels that can be harvested or scavenged are typically low (e.g., from nWatt/cm2 to mWatt/cm2), the key motivation is to harvest or to scavenge energy for a wide variety of applications. Example applications include powering devices in remote weather stations, or wireless Bluetooth headsets, or wearable computing devices or for sensor networks for health and bio-medical applications. Beyond sensors and sensor networks, there is a need to power compete systems, such as portable and energy-autonomous chemical analysis microinstruments for use on-site. A portable microinstrument is one that offers the same functionality as a large one but one that has at least one critical component in the micrometer regime. This paper surveys continuous or discontinuous energy harvesting and energy scavenging approaches (with particular emphasis on sensor and microinstrument networks) and it discusses current trends. It also briefly explores potential future directions, for example, for nature-inspired (e.g., photosynthesis), for human-power driven (e.g., for biomedical applications, or for wearable sensor networks) or for nanotechnology-enabled energy harvesting and energy scavenging approaches.

  5. Energy harvesting: an integrated view of materials, devices and applications.

    PubMed

    Radousky, H B; Liang, H

    2012-12-21

    Energy harvesting refers to the set of processes by which useful energy is captured from waste, environmental, or mechanical sources and is converted into a usable form. The discipline of energy harvesting is a broad topic that includes established methods and materials such as photovoltaics and thermoelectrics, as well as more recent technologies that convert mechanical energy, magnetic energy and waste heat to electricity. This article will review various state-of-the-art materials and devices for direct energy conversion and in particular will include multistep energy conversion approaches. The article will highlight the nano-materials science underlying energy harvesting principles and devices, but also include more traditional bulk processes and devices as appropriate and synergistic. Emphasis is placed on device-design innovations that lead to higher efficiency energy harvesting or conversion technologies ranging from the cm/mm-scale down to MEMS/NEMS (micro- and nano-electromechanical systems) devices. Theoretical studies are reviewed, which address transport properties, crystal chemistry, thermodynamic analysis, energy transfer, system efficiency and device operation. New developments in experimental methods; device design and fabrication; nanostructured materials fabrication; materials properties; and device performance measurement techniques are discussed.

  6. Light harvesting proteins for solar fuel generation in bioengineered photoelectrochemical cells.

    PubMed

    Ihssen, Julian; Braun, Artur; Faccio, Greta; Gajda-Schrantz, Krisztina; Thöny-Meyer, Linda

    2014-01-01

    The sun is the primary energy source of our planet and potentially can supply all societies with more than just their basic energy needs. Demand of electric energy can be satisfied with photovoltaics, however the global demand for fuels is even higher. The direct way to produce the solar fuel hydrogen is by water splitting in photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells, an artificial mimic of photosynthesis. There is currently strong resurging interest for solar fuels produced by PEC cells, but some fundamental technological problems need to be solved to make PEC water splitting an economic, competitive alternative. One of the problems is to provide a low cost, high performing water oxidizing and oxygen evolving photoanode in an environmentally benign setting. Hematite, α-Fe2O3, satisfies many requirements for a good PEC photoanode, but its efficiency is insufficient in its pristine form. A promising strategy for enhancing photocurrent density takes advantage of photosynthetic proteins. In this paper we give an overview of how electrode surfaces in general and hematite photoanodes in particular can be functionalized with light harvesting proteins. Specifically, we demonstrate how low-cost biomaterials such as cyanobacterial phycocyanin and enzymatically produced melanin increase the overall performance of virtually no-cost metal oxide photoanodes in a PEC system. The implementation of biomaterials changes the overall nature of the photoanode assembly in a way that aggressive alkaline electrolytes such as concentrated KOH are not required anymore. Rather, a more environmentally benign and pH neutral electrolyte can be used. PMID:24678669

  7. Light harvesting proteins for solar fuel generation in bioengineered photoelectrochemical cells.

    PubMed

    Ihssen, Julian; Braun, Artur; Faccio, Greta; Gajda-Schrantz, Krisztina; Thöny-Meyer, Linda

    2014-01-01

    The sun is the primary energy source of our planet and potentially can supply all societies with more than just their basic energy needs. Demand of electric energy can be satisfied with photovoltaics, however the global demand for fuels is even higher. The direct way to produce the solar fuel hydrogen is by water splitting in photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells, an artificial mimic of photosynthesis. There is currently strong resurging interest for solar fuels produced by PEC cells, but some fundamental technological problems need to be solved to make PEC water splitting an economic, competitive alternative. One of the problems is to provide a low cost, high performing water oxidizing and oxygen evolving photoanode in an environmentally benign setting. Hematite, α-Fe2O3, satisfies many requirements for a good PEC photoanode, but its efficiency is insufficient in its pristine form. A promising strategy for enhancing photocurrent density takes advantage of photosynthetic proteins. In this paper we give an overview of how electrode surfaces in general and hematite photoanodes in particular can be functionalized with light harvesting proteins. Specifically, we demonstrate how low-cost biomaterials such as cyanobacterial phycocyanin and enzymatically produced melanin increase the overall performance of virtually no-cost metal oxide photoanodes in a PEC system. The implementation of biomaterials changes the overall nature of the photoanode assembly in a way that aggressive alkaline electrolytes such as concentrated KOH are not required anymore. Rather, a more environmentally benign and pH neutral electrolyte can be used.

  8. Light Harvesting Proteins for Solar Fuel Generation in Bioengineered Photoelectrochemical Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ihssen, Julian; Braun, Artur; Faccio, Greta; Gajda-Schrantz, Krisztina; Thöny-Meyer, Linda

    2014-01-01

    The sun is the primary energy source of our planet and potentially can supply all societies with more than just their basic energy needs. Demand of electric energy can be satisfied with photovoltaics, however the global demand for fuels is even higher. The direct way to produce the solar fuel hydrogen is by water splitting in photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells, an artificial mimic of photosynthesis. There is currently strong resurging interest for solar fuels produced by PEC cells, but some fundamental technological problems need to be solved to make PEC water splitting an economic, competitive alternative. One of the problems is to provide a low cost, high performing water oxidizing and oxygen evolving photoanode in an environmentally benign setting. Hematite, α-Fe2O3, satisfies many requirements for a good PEC photoanode, but its efficiency is insufficient in its pristine form. A promising strategy for enhancing photocurrent density takes advantage of photosynthetic proteins. In this paper we give an overview of how electrode surfaces in general and hematite photoanodes in particular can be functionalized with light harvesting proteins. Specifically, we demonstrate how low-cost biomaterials such as cyanobacterial phycocyanin and enzymatically produced melanin increase the overall performance of virtually no-cost metal oxide photoanodes in a PEC system. The implementation of biomaterials changes the overall nature of the photoanode assembly in a way that aggressive alkaline electrolytes such as concentrated KOH are not required anymore. Rather, a more environmentally benign and pH neutral electrolyte can be used. PMID:24678669

  9. Powering embedded electronics for wind turbine monitoring using multi-source energy harvesting techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anton, S. R.; Taylor, S. G.; Raby, E. Y.; Farinholt, K. M.

    2013-03-01

    With a global interest in the development of clean, renewable energy, wind energy has seen steady growth over the past several years. Advances in wind turbine technology bring larger, more complex turbines and wind farms. An important issue in the development of these complex systems is the ability to monitor the state of each turbine in an effort to improve the efficiency and power generation. Wireless sensor nodes can be used to interrogate the current state and health of wind turbine structures; however, a drawback of most current wireless sensor technology is their reliance on batteries for power. Energy harvesting solutions present the ability to create autonomous power sources for small, low-power electronics through the scavenging of ambient energy; however, most conventional energy harvesting systems employ a single mode of energy conversion, and thus are highly susceptible to variations in the ambient energy. In this work, a multi-source energy harvesting system is developed to power embedded electronics for wind turbine applications in which energy can be scavenged simultaneously from several ambient energy sources. Field testing is performed on a full-size, residential scale wind turbine where both vibration and solar energy harvesting systems are utilized to power wireless sensing systems. Two wireless sensors are investigated, including the wireless impedance device (WID) sensor node, developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and an ultra-low power RF system-on-chip board that is the basis for an embedded wireless accelerometer node currently under development at LANL. Results indicate the ability of the multi-source harvester to successfully power both sensors.

  10. Central solar energy receiver

    DOEpatents

    Drost, M. Kevin

    1983-01-01

    An improved tower-mounted central solar energy receiver for heating air drawn through the receiver by an induced draft fan. A number of vertically oriented, energy absorbing, fin-shaped slats are radially arranged in a number of concentric cylindrical arrays on top of the tower coaxially surrounding a pipe having air holes through which the fan draws air which is heated by the slats which receive the solar radiation from a heliostat field. A number of vertically oriented and wedge-shaped columns are radially arranged in a number of concentric cylindrical clusters surrounding the slat arrays. The columns have two mirror-reflecting sides to reflect radiation into the slat arrays and one energy absorbing side to reduce reradiation and reflection from the slat arrays.

  11. Catalysis in solar energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maugh, T. H., II

    1983-09-01

    The progress of technologies to convert solar energy into useful work is reviewed, with particular attention given to the functional principles of solar cells and photoelectrochemical cells. The current in a solar cell is completely electronic, while in a photoelectric cell (PC) the current is partially ionic, i.e., the electrical contact between electrodes is accomplished chemically. The PC can be activated by photons to perform photoassisted electrolysis in the presence of an external potential, thus producing hydrogen fuel. Various materials are under study as photoanodes, with layered metal dichalcogenide semiconductors the best performers so far. The chalcogenides include MoS2, WS2, MoSe2, and WSe2, which could be applied to photochemical synthesis of redox products. Employment of Pt or Rh on the electrode surface has increased H2 production efficiency to 13.3 percent.

  12. Dual-phase self-biased magnetoelectric energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Yuan; Apo, Daniel J.; Priya, Shashank

    2013-11-01

    We report a magnetoelectric energy harvester structure that can simultaneously scavenge magnetic and vibration energy in the absence of DC magnetic field. The structure consisted of a piezoelectric macro-fiber composite bonded to a Ni cantilever. Large magnetoelectric coefficient ˜50 V/cm Oe and power density ˜4.5 mW/cm3 (1 g acceleration) were observed at the resonance frequency. An additive effect was realized when the harvester operated under dual-phase mode. The increase in voltage output at the first three resonance frequencies under dual-phase mode was found to be 2.4%, 35.5%, and 360.7%. These results present significant advancement toward high energy density multimode energy harvesting system.

  13. Long-distance electronic energy transfer in light-harvesting supramolecular polymers.

    PubMed

    Winiger, Christian B; Li, Shaoguang; Kumar, Ganesh R; Langenegger, Simon M; Häner, Robert

    2014-12-01

    The efficient collection of solar energy relies on the design and construction of well-organized light-harvesting systems. Herein we report that supramolecular phenanthrene polymers doped with pyrene are effective collectors of light energy. The linear polymers are formed through the assembly of short amphiphilic oligomers in water. Absorption of light by phenanthrene residues is followed by electronic energy transfer along the polymer over long distances (>100 nm) to the accepting pyrene molecules. The high efficiency of the energy transfer, which is documented by large fluorescence quantum yields, suggests a quantum coherent process.

  14. A nonlinear piezoelectric energy harvester for various mechanical motions

    SciTech Connect

    Fan, Kangqi; Chang, Jianwei; Liu, Zhaohui; Zhu, Yingmin; Pedrycz, Witold

    2015-06-01

    This study presents a nonlinear piezoelectric energy harvester with intent to scavenge energy from diverse mechanical motions. The harvester consists of four piezoelectric cantilever beams, a cylindrical track, and a ferromagnetic ball, with magnets integrated to introduce the magnetic coupling between the ball and the beams. The experimental results demonstrate that the harvester is able to collect energy from various directions of vibrations. For the vibrations perpendicular to the ground, the maximum peak voltage is increased by 3.2 V and the bandwidth of the voltage above 4 V is increased by more than 4 Hz compared to the results obtained when using a conventional design. For the vibrations along the horizontal direction, the frequency up-conversion is realized through the magnetic coupling. Moreover, the proposed design can harvest energy from the sway motion around different directions on the horizontal plane. Harvesting energy from the rotation motion is also achieved with an operating bandwidth of approximately 6 Hz.

  15. Delayed-feedback vibration absorbers to enhance energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kammer, Ayhan S.; Olgac, Nejat

    2016-02-01

    Recovering energy from ambient vibrations has recently been a popular research topic. This article is conceived as a concept study that explores new directions to enhance the performance of such energy harvesting devices from base excitation. The main idea revolves around the introduction of delayed feedback sensitization (or tuning) of an active vibration absorber setup. To clarify the concept, the Delayed Resonator theory is reviewed and its suitability for energy harvesting purposes is studied. It is recognized that an actively tuned and purely resonant absorber is infeasible for such applications. The focus is then shifted to alternative tuning schemes that deviate from resonance conditions. Also called Delayed Feedback Vibration Absorbers, these devices may indeed provide significant enhancements in energy harvesting capacity. Analytical developments are presented to study energy generation and consumption characteristics. Effects of excitation frequency and absorber damping are investigated. The influences of time-delayed feedback on the stability and the transient performance of the system are also treated. The analysis starts from a stand-alone absorber, emulating seismic mass type harvesters. The work is then extended to vibration control applications, where an absorber/harvester is coupled with a primary structure. The results are demonstrated with numerical simulations on a case study.

  16. Long term performance of wearable transducer for motion energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGarry, Scott A.; Behrens, Sam

    2010-04-01

    Personal electronic devices such as cell phones, GPS and MP3 players have traditionally depended on battery energy storage technologies for operation. By harvesting energy from a person's motion, these devices may achieve greater run times without increasing the mass or volume of the electronic device. Through the use of a flexible piezoelectric transducer such as poly-vinylidene fluoride (PVDF), and integrating it into a person's clothing, it becomes a 'wearable transducer'. As the PVDF transducer is strained during the person's routine activities, it produces an electrical charge which can then be harvested to power personal electronic devices. Existing wearable transducers have shown great promise for personal motion energy harvesting applications. However, they are presently physically bulky and not ergonomic for the wearer. In addition, there is limited information on the energy harvesting performance for wearable transducers, especially under realistic conditions and for extended cyclic force operations - as would be experienced when worn. In this paper, we present experimental results for a wearable PVDF transducer using a person's measured walking force profile, which is then cycled for a prolonged period of time using an experimental apparatus. Experimental results indicate that after an initial drop in performance, the transducer energy harvesting performance does not substantially deteriorate over time, as less than 10% degradation was observed. Longevity testing is still continuing at CSIRO.

  17. Cooperative energy harvesting-adaptive MAC protocol for WBANs.

    PubMed

    Esteves, Volker; Antonopoulos, Angelos; Kartsakli, Elli; Puig-Vidal, Manel; Miribel-Català, Pere; Verikoukis, Christos

    2015-05-28

    In this paper, we introduce a cooperative medium access control (MAC) protocol, named cooperative energy harvesting (CEH)-MAC, that adapts its operation to the energy harvesting (EH) conditions in wireless body area networks (WBANs). In particular, the proposed protocol exploits the EH information in order to set an idle time that allows the relay nodes to charge their batteries and complete the cooperation phase successfully. Extensive simulations have shown that CEH-MAC significantly improves the network performance in terms of throughput, delay and energy efficiency compared to the cooperative operation of the baseline IEEE 802.15.6 standard.

  18. Cooperative Energy Harvesting-Adaptive MAC Protocol for WBANs

    PubMed Central

    Esteves, Volker; Antonopoulos, Angelos; Kartsakli, Elli; Puig-Vidal, Manel; Miribel-Català, Pere; Verikoukis, Christos

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we introduce a cooperative medium access control (MAC) protocol, named cooperative energy harvesting (CEH)-MAC, that adapts its operation to the energy harvesting (EH) conditions in wireless body area networks (WBANs). In particular, the proposed protocol exploits the EH information in order to set an idle time that allows the relay nodes to charge their batteries and complete the cooperation phase successfully. Extensive simulations have shown that CEH-MAC significantly improves the network performance in terms of throughput, delay and energy efficiency compared to the cooperative operation of the baseline IEEE 802.15.6 standard. PMID:26029950

  19. Cooperative energy harvesting-adaptive MAC protocol for WBANs.

    PubMed

    Esteves, Volker; Antonopoulos, Angelos; Kartsakli, Elli; Puig-Vidal, Manel; Miribel-Català, Pere; Verikoukis, Christos

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we introduce a cooperative medium access control (MAC) protocol, named cooperative energy harvesting (CEH)-MAC, that adapts its operation to the energy harvesting (EH) conditions in wireless body area networks (WBANs). In particular, the proposed protocol exploits the EH information in order to set an idle time that allows the relay nodes to charge their batteries and complete the cooperation phase successfully. Extensive simulations have shown that CEH-MAC significantly improves the network performance in terms of throughput, delay and energy efficiency compared to the cooperative operation of the baseline IEEE 802.15.6 standard. PMID:26029950

  20. Solar energy applications in the tropics

    SciTech Connect

    Lim, B.B.

    1983-01-01

    This book presents the papers given at a seminar on the use of solar energy in tropical regions. Topics considered at the seminar included solar decision making, solar radiation measurement, solar air conditioning, solar refrigeration, solar collectors, solar water heaters, photovoltaics, solar architecture, solar heating systems, research programs, solar drying, and performance testing.

  1. Optimized tapered dipole nanoantenna as efficient energy harvester.

    PubMed

    El-Toukhy, Youssef M; Hussein, Mohamed; Hameed, Mohamed Farhat O; Heikal, A M; Abd-Elrazzak, M M; Obayya, S S A

    2016-07-11

    In this paper, a novel design of tapered dipole nanoantenna is introduced and numerically analyzed for energy harvesting applications. The proposed design consists of three steps tapered dipole nanoantenna with rectangular shape. Full systematic analysis is carried out where the antenna impedance, return loss, harvesting efficiency and field confinement are calculated using 3D finite element frequency domain method (3D-FEFD). The structure geometrical parameters are optimized using particle swarm algorithm (PSO) to improve the harvesting efficiency and reduce the return loss at wavelength of 500 nm. A harvesting efficiency of 55.3% is achieved which is higher than that of conventional dipole counterpart by 29%. This enhancement is attributed to the high field confinement in the dipole gap as a result of multiple tips created in the nanoantenna design. Furthermore, the antenna input impedance is tuned to match a wide range of fabricated diode based upon the multi-resonance characteristic of the proposed structure. PMID:27410898

  2. Optimized tapered dipole nanoantenna as efficient energy harvester.

    PubMed

    El-Toukhy, Youssef M; Hussein, Mohamed; Hameed, Mohamed Farhat O; Heikal, A M; Abd-Elrazzak, M M; Obayya, S S A

    2016-07-11

    In this paper, a novel design of tapered dipole nanoantenna is introduced and numerically analyzed for energy harvesting applications. The proposed design consists of three steps tapered dipole nanoantenna with rectangular shape. Full systematic analysis is carried out where the antenna impedance, return loss, harvesting efficiency and field confinement are calculated using 3D finite element frequency domain method (3D-FEFD). The structure geometrical parameters are optimized using particle swarm algorithm (PSO) to improve the harvesting efficiency and reduce the return loss at wavelength of 500 nm. A harvesting efficiency of 55.3% is achieved which is higher than that of conventional dipole counterpart by 29%. This enhancement is attributed to the high field confinement in the dipole gap as a result of multiple tips created in the nanoantenna design. Furthermore, the antenna input impedance is tuned to match a wide range of fabricated diode based upon the multi-resonance characteristic of the proposed structure.

  3. Energy harvesting from human motion: exploiting swing and shock excitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ylli, K.; Hoffmann, D.; Willmann, A.; Becker, P.; Folkmer, B.; Manoli, Y.

    2015-02-01

    Modern compact and low power sensors and systems are leading towards increasingly integrated wearable systems. One key bottleneck of this technology is the power supply. The use of energy harvesting techniques offers a way of supplying sensor systems without the need for batteries and maintenance. In this work we present the development and characterization of two inductive energy harvesters which exploit different characteristics of the human gait. A multi-coil topology harvester is presented which uses the swing motion of the foot. The second device is a shock-type harvester which is excited into resonance upon heel strike. Both devices were modeled and designed with the key constraint of device height in mind, in order to facilitate the integration into the shoe sole. The devices were characterized under different motion speeds and with two test subjects on a treadmill. An average power output of up to 0.84 mW is achieved with the swing harvester. With a total device volume including the housing of 21 cm3 a power density of 40 μW cm-3 results. The shock harvester generates an average power output of up to 4.13 mW. The power density amounts to 86 μW cm-3 for the total device volume of 48 cm3. Difficulties and potential improvements are discussed briefly.

  4. Hybrid acoustic energy harvesting using combined electromagnetic and piezoelectric conversion.

    PubMed

    Khan, Farid Ullah; Izhar

    2016-02-01

    This paper reports a novel hybrid acoustic energy harvester. The harvester utilizes both the electromagnetic and piezoelectric conversion mechanisms simultaneously to convert the ambient acoustical noise into electrical power for self-powered wireless sensor nodes. The proposed harvester is comprised of a Helmholtz resonator, two magnets mounted on a piezoelectric plate, and a wound coil located under the magnets. The harvester is characterized both under harmonic and real random acoustical excitations. In-lab, under harmonic acoustical excitation at a sound pressure level of 130 dB and frequency of 2.1 kHz, an optimum power of 2.86 μW (at 114 Ω optimum load) is obtained from electromagnetic conversion and 50 μW (at 1000 Ω optimum load) is generated by the piezoelectric harvester's part. Moreover, in real acoustical environment of a domestic electric generator the peak voltages of 40 and 123 mV are produced by the electromagnetic and piezoelectric portions of the acoustic energy harvester.

  5. Hybrid acoustic energy harvesting using combined electromagnetic and piezoelectric conversion.

    PubMed

    Khan, Farid Ullah; Izhar

    2016-02-01

    This paper reports a novel hybrid acoustic energy harvester. The harvester utilizes both the electromagnetic and piezoelectric conversion mechanisms simultaneously to convert the ambient acoustical noise into electrical power for self-powered wireless sensor nodes. The proposed harvester is comprised of a Helmholtz resonator, two magnets mounted on a piezoelectric plate, and a wound coil located under the magnets. The harvester is characterized both under harmonic and real random acoustical excitations. In-lab, under harmonic acoustical excitation at a sound pressure level of 130 dB and frequency of 2.1 kHz, an optimum power of 2.86 μW (at 114 Ω optimum load) is obtained from electromagnetic conversion and 50 μW (at 1000 Ω optimum load) is generated by the piezoelectric harvester's part. Moreover, in real acoustical environment of a domestic electric generator the peak voltages of 40 and 123 mV are produced by the electromagnetic and piezoelectric portions of the acoustic energy harvester. PMID:26931884

  6. Wireless energy transmission to supplement energy harvesters in sensor network applications

    SciTech Connect

    Farinholt, Kevin M; Taylor, Stuart G; Park, Gyuhae; Farrar, Charles R

    2010-01-01

    In this paper we present a method for coupling wireless energy transmission with traditional energy harvesting techniques in order to power sensor nodes for structural health monitoring applications. The goal of this study is to develop a system that can be permanently embedded within civil structures without the need for on-board power sources. Wireless energy transmission is included to supplement energy harvesting techniques that rely on ambient or environmental, energy sources. This approach combines several transducer types that harvest ambient energy with wireless transmission sources, providing a robust solution that does not rely on a single energy source. Experimental results from laboratory and field experiments are presented to address duty cycle limitations of conventional energy harvesting techniques, and the advantages gained by incorporating a wireless energy transmission subsystem. Methods of increasing the efficiency, energy storage medium, target applications and the integrated use of energy harvesting sources with wireless energy transmission will be discussed.

  7. Smart nanocoated structure for energy harvesting at low frequency vibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Sudhanshu

    Increasing demands of energy which is cleaner and has an unlimited supply has led development in the field of energy harvesting. Piezoelectric materials can be used as a means of transforming ambient vibrations into electrical energy that can be stored and used to power other devices. With the recent surge of micro scale devices, piezoelectric power generation can provide a convenient alternative to traditional power sources. In this research, a piezoelectric power generator composite prototype was developed to maximize the power output of the system. A lead zirconate titanate (PZT) composite structure was formed and mounted on a cantilever bar and was studied to convert vibration energy of the low range vibrations at 30 Hz--1000 Hz. To improve the performance of the PZT, different coatings were made using different percentage of Ferrofluid (FNP) and Zinc Oxide nanoparticles (ZnO) and binder resin. The optimal coating mixture constituent percentage was based on the performance of the composite structure formed by applying the coating on the PZT. The fabricated PZT power generator composite with an effective volume of 0.062 cm3 produced a maximum of 44.5 μW, or 0.717mW/cm3 at its resonant frequency of 90 Hz. The optimal coating mixture had the composition of 59.9%FNP + 40% ZnO + 1% Resin Binder. The coating utilizes the opto-magneto-electrical properties of ZnO and Magnetic properties of FNP. To further enhance the output, the magneto-electric (ME) effect was increased by subjecting the composite to magnetic field where coating acts as a magnetostrictive material. For the effective volume of 0.0062 cm 3, the composite produced a maximum of 68.5 μW, or 1.11mW/cm 3 at its resonant frequency of 90 Hz at 160 gauss. The optimal coating mixture had the composition of 59.9% FNP + 40% ZnO + 1% Resin Binder. This research also focused on improving the efficiency of solar cells by utilizing the magnetic effect along with gas plasma etching to improve the internal reflection

  8. Inverse design of nonlinearity in energy harvesters for optimum damping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghandchi Tehrani, Maryam; Elliott, S. J.

    2016-09-01

    This paper presents the inverse design method for the nonlinearity in an energy harvester in order to achieve an optimum damping. A single degree-of-freedom electromechanical oscillator is considered as an energy harvester, which is subjected to a harmonic base excitation. The harvester has a limited throw due to the physical constraint of the device, which means that the amplitude of the relative displacement between the mass of the harvester and the base cannot exceed a threshold when the device is driven at resonance and beyond a particular amplitude. This physical constraint requires the damping of the harvester to be adjusted for different excitation amplitudes, such that the relative displacement is controlled and maintained below the limit. For example, the damping can be increased to reduce the amplitude of the relative displacement. For high excitation amplitudes, the optimum damping is, therefore, dependent on the amplitude of the base excitation, and can be synthesised by a nonlinear function. In this paper, a nonlinear function in the form of a bilinear is considered to represent the damping model of the device. A numerical optimisation using Matlab is carried out to fit a curve to the amplitude-dependent damping in order to determine the optimum bilinear model. The nonlinear damping is then used in the time-domain simulations and the relative displacement and the average harvested power are obtained. It is demonstrated that the proposed nonlinear damping can maintain the relative displacement of the harvester at its maximum level for a wide range of excitation, therefore providing the optimum condition for power harvesting.

  9. Frequency-dependent energy harvesting via magnetic shape memory alloys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sayyaadi, Hassan; Askari Farsangi, Mohammad Amin

    2015-11-01

    This paper is focused on presenting an accurate framework to describe frequency-dependent energy harvesting via magnetic shape memory alloys (MSMAs). Modeling strategy incorporates the phenomenological constitutive model developed formerly together with the magnetic diffusion equation. A hyperbolic hardening function is employed to define reorientation-induced strain hardening in the material, and the diffusion equation is used to add dynamic effects to the model. The MSMA prismatic specimen is surrounded by a pickup coil, and the induced voltage during martensite-variant reorientation is investigated with the help of Faraday’s law of magnetic field induction. It has been shown that, in order to harvest the maximum RMS voltage in the MSMA-based energy harvester, an optimum value of bias magnetic field exists, which is the corresponding magnetic field for the start of pseudoelasticity behavior. In addition, to achieve a more compact energy harvester with higher energy density, a specimen with a lower aspect ratio can be chosen. As the main novelty of the paper, it is found that the dynamic effects play a major role in determining the harvested voltage and power, especially for high excitation frequency or specimen thickness.

  10. Flight Test Results of a Thermoelectric Energy Harvester for Aircraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samson, D.; Kluge, M.; Fuss, T.; Schmid, U.; Becker, Th.

    2012-06-01

    The idea of thermoelectric energy harvesting for low-power wireless sensor systems in aircraft and its practical implementation was recently published. The concept of using a thermoelectric generator (TEG) attached to the aircraft inner hull and a thermal storage device to create an artificial temperature gradient at the TEG during take-off and landing from the temperature changes of the fuselage has passed initial tests and is now subject to flight testing. This work presents preflight test results, e.g., vibration and temperature testing of the harvesters, the practical installation of two harvesting devices inside a test plane, and the first test flight results. Several flight cycles with different flight profiles, flight lengths, and outside temperatures have been performed. Although the influence of different flight profiles on the energy output of the harvester can be clearly observed, the results are in good agreement with expectations from numerical simulations with boundary conditions evaluated from initial climate chamber experiments. In addition, the flight test demonstrates that reliable operation of thermoelectric energy harvesting in harsh aircraft environments seems to be feasible, therefore paving the way for realization of energy-autonomous, wireless sensor networks.

  11. Solar eclipse monitoring for solar energy applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reda, Ibrahim

    2015-04-01

    In recent years, the interest in using solar energy as a major contributor to renewable energy applications has increased, and the focus to optimize the use of electrical energy based on demand and resources from different locations has strengthened. This article includes a procedure for implementing an algorithm to calculate the Moon's zenith angle with uncertainty of ±0.001° and azimuth angle with uncertainty of ±0.003°. In conjunction with Solar Position Algorithm, the angular distance between the Sun and the Moon is used to develop a method to instantaneously monitor the partial or total solar eclipse occurrence for solar energy applications. This method can be used in many other applications for observers of the Sun and the Moon positions for applications limited to the stated uncertainty.

  12. SOLARES - A new hope for solar energy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Billman, K. W.; Gilbreath, W. P.; Bowen, S. W.

    1978-01-01

    A system of orbiting reflectors, SOLARES, has been studied as a possible means of reducing the diurnal variation and enhancing the average intensity of sunlight with a space system of minimum mass and complexity. The key impact that such a system makes on the economic viability of solar farming and other solar applications is demonstrated. The system is compatible with incremental implementation and continual expansion to meet the world's power needs. Key technology, environmental, and economic issues and payoffs are identified. SOLARES appears to be economically superior to other advanced, and even competitive with conventional, energy systems and could be scaled to completely abate our fossil fuel usage for power generation. Development of the terrestrial solar conversion technique, optimized for this new artificial source of solar radiation, yet remains.

  13. Charge transfer and quantum coherence in solar cells and artificial light harvesting system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lienau, Christoph

    2014-03-01

    In artificial light harvesting systems the conversion of light into electrical or chemical energy happens on the femtosecond time scale, and is thought to involve the incoherent jump of an electron from the optical absorber to an electron acceptor. Here we investigate the primary dynamics of the photoinduced electronic charge transfer process in two prototypical structures: (i) a carotene-porphyrin-fullerene triad, a prototypical elementary component for an artificial light harvesting system and (ii) a polymer:fullerene blend as a model system for an organic solar cell. Our approach combines coherent femtosecond spectroscopy and first-principles quantum dynamics simulations. Our experimental and theoretical results provide strong evidence that the driving mechanism of the primary step within the current generation cycle is a quantum-correlated wavelike motion of electrons and nuclei on a timescale of few tens of femtoseconds. We furthermore highlight the fundamental role played by the flexible interface between the light-absorbing chromophore and the charge acceptor in triggering the coherent wavelike electron-hole splitting.

  14. Cylindrical solar energy collector

    SciTech Connect

    Kelton, W.G.

    1981-10-27

    A solar energy collector for utilizing the energy of the sun to heat a working fluid is described. The collector comprises a core conduit having a working fluid inlet end and a closure fit across the other end. A single return conduit is spirally wound upon the exterior surface of the core conduit, wherein the windings are in close lateral juxtaposition but with the return conduit and the core conduit both exposed to direct impingement of solar rays. A transparent tube coaxially surrounds the core conduit. Annular members are positioned at each end of the transparent tube to maintain the spatial relationship of the members and form an annular air insulation zone around the core conduit and return conduit.

  15. Solar energy: Technology and applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, J. R.

    1974-01-01

    It is pointed out that in 1970 the total energy consumed in the U.S. was equal to the energy of sunlight received by only 0.15% of the land area of the continental U.S. The utilization of solar energy might, therefore, provide an approach for solving the energy crisis produced by the consumption of irreplaceable fossil fuels at a steadily increasing rate. Questions regarding the availability of solar energy are discussed along with the design of solar energy collectors and various approaches for heating houses and buildings by utilizing solar radiation. Other subjects considered are related to the heating of water partly or entirely with solar energy, the design of air conditioning systems based on the use of solar energy, electric power generation by a solar thermal and a photovoltaic approach, solar total energy systems, industrial and agricultural applications of solar energy, solar stills, the utilization of ocean thermal power, power systems based on the use of wind, and solar-energy power systems making use of geosynchronous power plants.

  16. Energy harvesting using a PZT ceramic multilayer stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Tian-Bing; Siochi, Emilie J.; Kang, Jin Ho; Zuo, Lei; Zhou, Wanlu; Tang, Xiudong; Jiang, Xiaoning

    2013-06-01

    In this paper, the interdisciplinary energy harvesting issues on piezoelectric energy harvesting were investigated using a ‘33’ mode (mechanical stress and/or electric field are in parallel to the polarization direction) lead zirconate titanate multilayer piezoelectric stack (PZT-Stack). Key energy harvesting characteristics including the generated electrical energy/power in the PZT-Stack, the mechanical to electrical energy conversion efficiency, the power delivered from the PZT-Stack to a resistive load, the electrical charge/energy transferred from the PZT-Stack to a super-capacitor were systematically addressed. Theoretical models for power generation and delivery to a resistive load were proposed and experimentally affirmed. In a quasi-static regime, 70% generated electrical powers were delivered to matched resistive loads. A 35% mechanical to electrical energy conversion efficiency, which is more than 4 times higher than other reports, for the PZT-Stack had been obtained. The generated electrical power and power density were significantly higher than those from a similar weight and size cantilever-type piezoelectric harvester in both resonance and off-resonance modes. In addition, our study indicated that the capacitance and piezoelectric coefficient of the PZT-Stack were strongly dependent on the dynamic stress.

  17. Contacting mode operation of work function energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varpula, A.; Laakso, S. J.; Havia, T.; Kyynäräinen, J.; Prunnila, M.

    2014-11-01

    The work function energy harvester (WFEH) is a variable capacitance vibration energy harvester where the charging of the capacitor electrodes is driven by the work function difference of the electrode materials. In this work, we investigate operation modes of the WFEH by utilizing a macroscopic parallel plate capacitor with Cu and Al electrodes and varying plate distance. We show that by charging the electrodes of the WFEH by letting the electrode plates touch during the operation a significant output power enhancement can be achieved in comparison to the case where the electrodes are charged and discharged only through a load resistor.

  18. An Inductorless Self-Controlled Rectifier for Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Lu, Shaohua; Boussaid, Farid

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a high-efficiency inductorless self-controlled rectifier for piezoelectric energy harvesting. High efficiency is achieved by discharging the piezoelectric device (PD) capacitance each time the current produced by the PD changes polarity. This is achieved automatically without the use of delay lines, thereby making the proposed circuit compatible with any type of PD. In addition, the proposed rectifier alleviates the need for an inductor, making it suitable for on-chip integration. Reported experimental results show that the proposed rectifier can harvest up to 3.9 times more energy than a full wave bridge rectifier. PMID:26610492

  19. An Inductorless Self-Controlled Rectifier for Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Lu, Shaohua; Boussaid, Farid

    2015-11-19

    This paper presents a high-efficiency inductorless self-controlled rectifier for piezoelectric energy harvesting. High efficiency is achieved by discharging the piezoelectric device (PD) capacitance each time the current produced by the PD changes polarity. This is achieved automatically without the use of delay lines, thereby making the proposed circuit compatible with any type of PD. In addition, the proposed rectifier alleviates the need for an inductor, making it suitable for on-chip integration. Reported experimental results show that the proposed rectifier can harvest up to 3.9 times more energy than a full wave bridge rectifier.

  20. An Inductorless Self-Controlled Rectifier for Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Shaohua; Boussaid, Farid

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a high-efficiency inductorless self-controlled rectifier for piezoelectric energy harvesting. High efficiency is achieved by discharging the piezoelectric device (PD) capacitance each time the current produced by the PD changes polarity. This is achieved automatically without the use of delay lines, thereby making the proposed circuit compatible with any type of PD. In addition, the proposed rectifier alleviates the need for an inductor, making it suitable for on-chip integration. Reported experimental results show that the proposed rectifier can harvest up to 3.9 times more energy than a full wave bridge rectifier. PMID:26610492

  1. Finite element modeling of electrically rectified piezoelectric energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, P. H.; Shu, Y. C.

    2015-09-01

    Finite element models are developed for designing electrically rectified piezoelectric energy harvesters. They account for the consideration of common interface circuits such as the standard and parallel-/series-SSHI (synchronized switch harvesting on inductor) circuits, as well as complicated structural configurations such as arrays of piezoelectric oscillators. The idea is to replace the energy harvesting circuit by the proposed equivalent load impedance together with the capacitance of negative value. As a result, the proposed framework is capable of being implemented into conventional finite element solvers for direct system-level design without resorting to circuit simulators. The validation based on COMSOL simulations carried out for various interface circuits by the comparison with the standard modal analysis model. The framework is then applied to the investigation on how harvested power is reduced due to fabrication deviations in geometric and material properties of oscillators in an array system. Remarkably, it is found that for a standard array system with strong electromechanical coupling, the drop in peak power turns out to be insignificant if the optimal load is carefully chosen. The second application is to design broadband energy harvesting by developing array systems with suitable interface circuits. The result shows that significant broadband is observed for the parallel (series) connection of oscillators endowed with the parallel-SSHI (series-SSHI) circuit technique.

  2. Which is better, electrostatic or piezoelectric energy harvesting systems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliott, A. D. T.; Miller, L. M.; Halvorsen, E.; Wright, P. K.; Mitcheson, P. D.

    2015-12-01

    This paper answers the often asked, and until now inadequately answered, question of which MEMS compatible transducer type achieves the best power density in an energy harvesting system. This question is usually poorly answered because of the number of variables which must be taken into account and the multi-domain nature of the modelling and optimisation. The work here includes models of the mechanics, transducer and the power processing circuits (e.g. rectification and battery management) which in turn include detailed semiconductor models. It is shown that electrostatic harvesters perform better than piezoelectric harvesters at low accelerations, due to lower energy losses, and the reverse is generally true at high accelerations. At very high accelerations using MEMS-scale devices the dielectric breakdown limit in piezoelectric energy harvesters severely decreases their performance thus electrostatics are again preferred. Using the insights gained in this comparison, the optimal transduction mechanism can be chosen as a function of harvesting operating frequency, acceleration and device size.

  3. Enhanced vibration based energy harvesting using embedded acoustic black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, L.; Semperlotti, F.; Conlon, S. C.

    2014-03-01

    In this paper, we investigate the use of dynamic structural tailoring via the concept of an Acoustic Black Hole (ABH) to enhance the performance of piezoelectric based energy harvesting from operational mechanical vibrations. The ABH is a variable thickness structural feature that can be embedded in the host structure allowing a smooth reduction of the phase velocity while minimizing the amplitude of reflected waves. The ABH thickness variation is typically designed according to power-law profiles. As a propagating wave enters the ABH, it is progressively slowed down while its wavelength is compressed. This effect results in structural areas with high energy density that can be exploited effectively for energy harvesting. The potential of ABH for energy harvesting is shown via a numerical study based on fully coupled finite element electromechanical models of an ABH tapered plate with surface mounted piezo-transducers. The performances of the novel design are evaluated by direct comparison with a non-tapered structure in terms of energy ratios and attenuation indices. Results show that the tailored structural design allows a drastic increase in the harvested energy both for steady state and transient excitation. Performance dependencies of key design parameters are also investigated.

  4. Applications of energy harvesting for ultralow power technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pop-Vadean, A.; Pop, P. P.; Barz, C.; Chiver, O.

    2015-06-01

    Ultra-low-power (ULP) technology is enabling a wide range of new applications that harvest ambient energy in very small amounts and need little or no maintenance - self-sustaining devices that are capable of perpetual or nearly perpetual operation. These new systems, which are now appearing in industrial and consumer electronics, also promise great changes in medicine and health. Until recently, the idea of micro-scale energy harvesting, and collecting miniscule amounts of ambient energy to power electronic systems, was still limited to research proposals and laboratory experiments.Today an increasing number of systems are appearing that take advantage of light, vibrations and other forms of previously wasted environmental energy for applications where providing line power or maintaining batteries is inconvenient. In the industrial world, where sensors gather information from remote equipment and hazardous processes; in consumer electronics, where mobility and convenience are served; and in medical systems, with unique requirements for prosthetics and non-invasive monitoring, energy harvesting is rapidly expanding into new applications.This paper serves as a survey for applications of energy harvesting for ultra low power technology based on various technical papers available in the public domain.

  5. Energy 101: Concentrating Solar Power

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2016-07-12

    From towers to dishes to linear mirrors to troughs, concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies reflect and collect solar heat to generate electricity. A single CSP plant can generate enough power for about 90,000 homes. This video explains what CSP is, how it works, and how systems like parabolic troughs produce renewable power. For more information on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's CSP research, see the Solar Energy Technology Program's Concentrating Solar Power Web page at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/csp_program.html.

  6. Energy 101: Concentrating Solar Power

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-01

    From towers to dishes to linear mirrors to troughs, concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies reflect and collect solar heat to generate electricity. A single CSP plant can generate enough power for about 90,000 homes. This video explains what CSP is, how it works, and how systems like parabolic troughs produce renewable power. For more information on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's CSP research, see the Solar Energy Technology Program's Concentrating Solar Power Web page at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/csp_program.html.

  7. Nanowire structured hybrid cell for concurrently scavenging solar and mechanical energies.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chen; Wang, Xudong; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2009-04-29

    Conversion cells for harvesting solar energy and mechanical energy are usually separate and independent entities that are designed and built following different physical principles. Developing a technology that harvests multiple-type energies in forms such as sun light and mechanical around the clock is desperately desired for fully utilizing the energies available in our living environment. We report a hybrid cell that is intended for simultaneously harvesting solar and mechanical energies. Using aligned ZnO nanowire arrays grown on surfaces of a flat substrate, a dye-sensitized solar cell is integrated with a piezoelectric nanogenerator. The former harvests solar energy irradiating on the top, and the latter harvests ultrasonic wave energy from the surrounding. The two energy harvesting approaches can work simultaneously or individually, and they can be integrated in parallel and serial for raising the output current and voltage, respectively, as well as power. It is found that the voltage output from the solar cell can be used to raise the output voltage of the nanogenerator, providing an effective approach for effectively storing and utilizing the power generated by the nanogenerator. Our study demonstrates a new approach for concurrently harvesting multiple types of energies using an integrated hybrid cell so that the energy resources can be effectively and complementary utilized whenever and wherever one or all of them is available.

  8. Energy Harvesting Systems and Methods of Assembling Same

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cepeda-Rizo, Juan (Inventor); Ganapathi, Gani B. (Inventor)

    2013-01-01

    A method of assembling an energy harvesting system is provided. The method includes coupling at least one energy storage device in flow communication with at least one apparatus that is configured to generate thermal energy and to transfer the thermal energy into at least one fluid stream. The energy storage device is configured to store the fluid stream. Moreover, the method includes coupling at least one fluid transfer device downstream from the energy storage device. The fluid transfer device receives the fluid stream from the energy storage device. A bladeless turbine is coupled in flow communication with the fluid transfer device, wherein the bladeless turbine receives the fluid stream to generate power.

  9. Dynamics of energy harvesting backpack with human being interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Yue; Zuo, Lei

    2016-04-01

    In last ten years, a lot of researchers have begun to look into obtaining electricity from the movement between human and their backpack that occurs during walking. In this paper, an innovative, elastically-suspended backpack with mechanical motion rectifier (MMR) based energy harvester is developed to generate electricity with high efficiency and reliability. Up to 28 Watts peak electrical power can be produced by the MMR based backpack energy harvester. A dynamic model for the system is presented along with experimental results. Three dual mass models for different distinct harvesters: pure viscous, non MMR, and MMR, are proposed, and a comparison in the output power and human comfort between the three models is discussed.

  10. Optimal piezoelectric beam shape for single and broadband vibration energy harvesting: Modeling, simulation and experimental results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muthalif, Asan G. A.; Nordin, N. H. Diyana

    2015-03-01

    Harvesting energy from the surroundings has become a new trend in saving our environment. Among the established ones are solar panels, wind turbines and hydroelectric generators which have successfully grown in meeting the world's energy demand. However, for low powered electronic devices; especially when being placed in a remote area, micro scale energy harvesting is preferable. One of the popular methods is via vibration energy scavenging which converts mechanical energy (from vibration) to electrical energy by the effect of coupling between mechanical variables and electric or magnetic fields. As the voltage generated greatly depends on the geometry and size of the piezoelectric material, there is a need to define an optimum shape and configuration of the piezoelectric energy scavenger. In this research, mathematical derivations for unimorph piezoelectric energy harvester are presented. Simulation is done using MATLAB and COMSOL Multiphysics software to study the effect of varying the length and shape of the beam to the generated voltage. Experimental results comparing triangular and rectangular shaped piezoelectric beam are also presented.

  11. Do biomass harvesting guidelines influence herpetofauna following harvests of logging residues for renewable energy?.

    PubMed

    Fritts, Sarah; Moorman, Christopher; Grodsky, Steven; Hazel, Dennis; Homyack, Jessica; Farrell, Chris; Castleberry, Steven

    2016-04-01

    Forests are a major supplier of renewable energy; however, gleaning logging residues for use as woody biomass feedstock could negatively alter habitat for species dependent on downed wood. Biomass Harvesting Guidelines (BHGs) recommend retaining a portion of woody biomass on the forest floor following harvest. Despite BHGs being developed to help ensure ecological sustainability, their contribution to biodiversity has not been evaluated experimentally at operational scales. We compared herpetofauanal evenness, diversity, and richness and abundance of Anaxyrus terrestris and Gastrophryne carolinensis among six treatments that varied in volume and spatial arrangement of woody biomass retained after clearcutting loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations in North Carolina, USA (n = 4), 2011-2014 and Georgia (n = 4), USA 2011-2013. Treatments were: (1) biomass harvest with no BHGs, (2) 15% retention with biomass clustered, (3) 15% retention with biomass dispersed, (4) 30% retention with biomass clustered, (5) 30% retention with biomass dispersed, and (6) no biomass harvest. We captured individuals with drift fence arrays and compared evenness, diversity, and richness metrics among treatments with repeated-measure, linear mixed-effects models. We determined predictors of A. terrestris and G. carolinensis abundances using a priori candidate N-mixture models with woody biomass volume, vegetation structure, and groundcover composition as covariates. We had 206 captures of 25 reptile species and 8710 captures of 17 amphibian species during 53690 trap nights. Herpetofauna diversity, evenness, and richness were similar among treatments. A. terrestris abundance was negatively related to volume of retained woody biomass in treatment units in North Carolina in 2013. G. carolinensis abundance was positively related with volume of retained woody debris in treatment units in Georgia in 2012. Other relationships between A. terrestris and G. carolinensis abundances and habitat metrics

  12. Do biomass harvesting guidelines influence herpetofauna following harvests of logging residues for renewable energy?.

    PubMed

    Fritts, Sarah; Moorman, Christopher; Grodsky, Steven; Hazel, Dennis; Homyack, Jessica; Farrell, Chris; Castleberry, Steven

    2016-04-01

    Forests are a major supplier of renewable energy; however, gleaning logging residues for use as woody biomass feedstock could negatively alter habitat for species dependent on downed wood. Biomass Harvesting Guidelines (BHGs) recommend retaining a portion of woody biomass on the forest floor following harvest. Despite BHGs being developed to help ensure ecological sustainability, their contribution to biodiversity has not been evaluated experimentally at operational scales. We compared herpetofauanal evenness, diversity, and richness and abundance of Anaxyrus terrestris and Gastrophryne carolinensis among six treatments that varied in volume and spatial arrangement of woody biomass retained after clearcutting loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations in North Carolina, USA (n = 4), 2011-2014 and Georgia (n = 4), USA 2011-2013. Treatments were: (1) biomass harvest with no BHGs, (2) 15% retention with biomass clustered, (3) 15% retention with biomass dispersed, (4) 30% retention with biomass clustered, (5) 30% retention with biomass dispersed, and (6) no biomass harvest. We captured individuals with drift fence arrays and compared evenness, diversity, and richness metrics among treatments with repeated-measure, linear mixed-effects models. We determined predictors of A. terrestris and G. carolinensis abundances using a priori candidate N-mixture models with woody biomass volume, vegetation structure, and groundcover composition as covariates. We had 206 captures of 25 reptile species and 8710 captures of 17 amphibian species during 53690 trap nights. Herpetofauna diversity, evenness, and richness were similar among treatments. A. terrestris abundance was negatively related to volume of retained woody biomass in treatment units in North Carolina in 2013. G. carolinensis abundance was positively related with volume of retained woody debris in treatment units in Georgia in 2012. Other relationships between A. terrestris and G. carolinensis abundances and habitat metrics

  13. 77 FR 23275 - Notice of Availability of the Draft enXco Desert Harvest Solar Farm Project Environmental Impact...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-18

    ... Bureau of Land Management Notice of Availability of the Draft enXco Desert Harvest Solar Farm Project Environmental Impact Statement, Riverside County, CA and the Draft California Desert Conservation Area Plan... Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) for the enXco Desert Harvest Solar Farm Project...

  14. Energy harvesting from electric power lines employing the Halbach arrays.

    PubMed

    He, Wei; Li, Ping; Wen, Yumei; Zhang, Jitao; Lu, Caijiang; Yang, Aichao

    2013-10-01

    This paper proposes non-invasive energy harvesters to scavenge alternating magnetic field energy from electric power lines. The core body of a non-invasive energy harvester is a linear Halbach array, which is mounted on the free end of a piezoelectric cantilever beam. The Halbach array augments the magnetic flux density on the side of the array where the power line is placed and significantly lowers the magnetic field on the other side. Consequently, the magnetic coupling strength is enhanced and more alternating magnetic field energy from the current-carrying power line is converted into electrical energy. An analytical model is developed and the theoretical results verify the experimental results. A power of 566 μW across a 196 kΩ resistor is generated from a single wire, and a power of 897 μW across a 212 kΩ resistor is produced from a two-wire power cord carrying opposite currents at 10 A. The harvesters employing Halbach arrays for a single wire and a two-wire power cord, respectively, exhibit 3.9 and 3.2 times higher power densities than those of the harvesters employing conventional layouts of magnets. The proposed devices with strong response to the alternating currents are promising to be applied to electricity end-use environment in electric power systems. PMID:24182155

  15. Exploration of new cymbal design in energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnold, Daniel; Kinsel, William; Clark, William W.; Mo, Changki

    2011-03-01

    Harvesting wasted energy and converting it into electrical energy to use as needed is an emerging technology area. In this work, a new design of a cymbal energy harvester is developed and tested to validate analytical energy generating performance. Cymbal transducers have been demonstrated to be beneficial as energy harvesters for vibrating systems under modest load and frequency. In this paper a new design is adopted using a unimorph circular piezoelectric disc between the metal end caps to deal with higher loads. Simple analysis for the new cymbal design to predict voltage output was first conducted. The new cymbal design, 25.4 mm diameter and 8.2 mm thickness, was then fabricated and tested on the load frame with up to 324 lb load and 1 Hz frequency to measure output voltages. This device could be used in numerous applications for potentially self sustaining sensors or other electronic devices. By changing the structure between the metal end caps of cymbal harvesters the new design could be extended in higher load applications.

  16. Innovative thermal energy harvesting for future autonomous applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monfray, Stephane

    2013-12-01

    As communicating autonomous systems market is booming, the role of energy harvesting will be a key enabler. As example, heat is one of the most abundant energy sources that can be converted into electricity in order to power circuits. Harvesting systems that use wasted heat open new ways to power autonomous sensors when the energy consumption is low, or to create systems of power generators when the conversion efficiency is high. The combination of different technologies (low power μ-processors, μ-batteries, radio, sensors...) with new energy harvesters compatible with large varieties of use-cases with allow to address this booming market. Thanks to the conjunction of ultra-low power electronic development, 3D technologies & Systems in Package approaches, the integration of autonomous sensors and electronics with ambient energy harvesting will be achievable. The applications are very wide, from environment and industrial sensors to medical portable applications, and the Internet of things may also represent in the future a several billions units market.

  17. Radio-frequency energy harvesting for wearable sensors

    PubMed Central

    Chávez-Santiago, Raul; Barroca, Norberto; Velez, Fernando José; Balasingham, Ilangko

    2015-01-01

    The use of wearable biomedical sensors for the continuous monitoring of physiological signals will facilitate the involvement of the patients in the prevention and management of chronic diseases. The fabrication of small biomedical sensors transmitting physiological data wirelessly is possible as a result of the tremendous advances in ultra-low power electronics and radio communications. However, the widespread adoption of these devices depends very much on their ability to operate for long periods of time without the need to frequently change, recharge or even use batteries. In this context, energy harvesting (EH) is the disruptive technology that can pave the road towards the massive utilisation of wireless wearable sensors for patient self-monitoring and daily healthcare. Radio-frequency (RF) transmissions from commercial telecommunication networks represent reliable ambient energy that can be harvested as they are ubiquitous in urban and suburban areas. The state-of-the-art in RF EH for wearable biomedical sensors specifically targeting the global system of mobile 900/1800 cellular and 700 MHz digital terrestrial television networks as ambient RF energy sources are showcased. Furthermore, guidelines for the choice of the number of stages for the RF energy harvester are presented, depending on the requirements from the embedded system to power supply, which is useful for other researchers that work in the same area. The present authors' recent advances towards the development of an efficient RF energy harvester and storing system are presented and thoroughly discussed too. PMID:26609400

  18. Radio-frequency energy harvesting for wearable sensors.

    PubMed

    Borges, Luís M; Chávez-Santiago, Raul; Barroca, Norberto; Velez, Fernando José; Balasingham, Ilangko

    2015-02-01

    The use of wearable biomedical sensors for the continuous monitoring of physiological signals will facilitate the involvement of the patients in the prevention and management of chronic diseases. The fabrication of small biomedical sensors transmitting physiological data wirelessly is possible as a result of the tremendous advances in ultra-low power electronics and radio communications. However, the widespread adoption of these devices depends very much on their ability to operate for long periods of time without the need to frequently change, recharge or even use batteries. In this context, energy harvesting (EH) is the disruptive technology that can pave the road towards the massive utilisation of wireless wearable sensors for patient self-monitoring and daily healthcare. Radio-frequency (RF) transmissions from commercial telecommunication networks represent reliable ambient energy that can be harvested as they are ubiquitous in urban and suburban areas. The state-of-the-art in RF EH for wearable biomedical sensors specifically targeting the global system of mobile 900/1800 cellular and 700 MHz digital terrestrial television networks as ambient RF energy sources are showcased. Furthermore, guidelines for the choice of the number of stages for the RF energy harvester are presented, depending on the requirements from the embedded system to power supply, which is useful for other researchers that work in the same area. The present authors' recent advances towards the development of an efficient RF energy harvester and storing system are presented and thoroughly discussed too.

  19. Radio-frequency energy harvesting for wearable sensors.

    PubMed

    Borges, Luís M; Chávez-Santiago, Raul; Barroca, Norberto; Velez, Fernando José; Balasingham, Ilangko

    2015-02-01

    The use of wearable biomedical sensors for the continuous monitoring of physiological signals will facilitate the involvement of the patients in the prevention and management of chronic diseases. The fabrication of small biomedical sensors transmitting physiological data wirelessly is possible as a result of the tremendous advances in ultra-low power electronics and radio communications. However, the widespread adoption of these devices depends very much on their ability to operate for long periods of time without the need to frequently change, recharge or even use batteries. In this context, energy harvesting (EH) is the disruptive technology that can pave the road towards the massive utilisation of wireless wearable sensors for patient self-monitoring and daily healthcare. Radio-frequency (RF) transmissions from commercial telecommunication networks represent reliable ambient energy that can be harvested as they are ubiquitous in urban and suburban areas. The state-of-the-art in RF EH for wearable biomedical sensors specifically targeting the global system of mobile 900/1800 cellular and 700 MHz digital terrestrial television networks as ambient RF energy sources are showcased. Furthermore, guidelines for the choice of the number of stages for the RF energy harvester are presented, depending on the requirements from the embedded system to power supply, which is useful for other researchers that work in the same area. The present authors' recent advances towards the development of an efficient RF energy harvester and storing system are presented and thoroughly discussed too. PMID:26609400

  20. Electromechanical decoupled model for cantilever-beam piezoelectric energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, T.; Yan, Z.; Hajj, M.

    2016-09-01

    Analysis of cantilever-based piezoelectric energy harvesting systems is usually performed using coupled equations that represent the mechanical displacement and the voltage output. These equations are then solved simultaneously. In contrast to this representation, we use analytical solutions of the governing equation to derive an algebraic equation of the power as a function of the beam displacement, electromechanical coefficients, and the load resistance. Such an equation can be more useful in the design of such harvesters. Particularly, the mechanical displacement is computed from a mechanical governing equation with modified natural frequency and damping ratio that account for the electromechanical coupling. The voltage and the harvested power are then obtained by relating them directly to the mechanical displacement. We validate the proposed analysis by comparing its solution including the tip displacement and harvested power with those of numerical simulations of the governing equations. To demonstrate the generality of the proposed approach, we consider the cases of base excitation, galloping, and autoparametric vibration. The model proposed in this study simplifies the electromechanical coupling problem for practical applications of cantilever-beam piezoelectric energy harvesting systems.

  1. Piezoelectric energy harvesting from transverse galloping of bluff bodies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdelkefi, A.; Hajj, M. R.; Nayfeh, A. H.

    2013-01-01

    The concept of harvesting energy from transverse galloping oscillations of a bluff body with different cross-section geometries is investigated. The energy is harvested by attaching a piezoelectric transducer to the transverse degree of freedom of the body. The power levels that can be generated from these vibrations and the variations of these levels with the load resistance, cross-section geometry, and freestream velocity are determined. A representative model that accounts for the transverse displacement of the bluff body and harvested voltage is presented. The quasi-steady approximation is used to model the aerodynamic loads. A linear analysis is performed to determine the effects of the electrical load resistance and the cross-section geometry on the onset of galloping, which is due to a Hopf bifurcation. The normal form of this bifurcation is derived to determine the type (supercritical or subcritical) of the instability and to characterize the effects of the linear and nonlinear parameters on the level of harvested power near the bifurcation. The results show that the electrical load resistance and the cross-section geometry affect the onset speed of galloping. The results also show that the maximum levels of harvested power are accompanied with minimum transverse displacement amplitudes for all considered (square, D, and triangular) cross-section geometries, which points to the need for performing a coupled analysis of the system.

  2. Low Frequency Vibration Energy Harvesting using Diamagnetically Stabilized Magnet Levitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palagummi, Sri Vikram

    Over the last decade, vibration-based energy harvesting has provided a technology push on the feasibility of self-powered portable small electronic devices and wireless sensor nodes. Vibration energy harvesters in general transduce energy by damping out the environmentally induced relative emotion through either a cantilever beam or an equivalent suspension mechanism with one of the transduction mechanisms, like, piezoelectric, electrostatic, electromagnetic or magnetostrictive. Two major challenges face the present harvesters in literature, one, they suffer from the unavoidable mechanical damping due to internal friction present in the systems, second, they cannot operate efficiently in the low frequency range (< 10 Hz), when most of the ambient vibrational energy is in this low frequency broadband range. Passive and friction free diamagnetically stabilized magnet levitation mechanisms which can work efficiently as a vibration energy harvester in the low frequency range are discussed in this work. First, a mono-stable vertical diamagnetic levitation (VDL) based vibration energy harvester (VEH) is discussed. The harvester consists of a lifting magnet (LM), a floating magnet (FM) and two diamagnetic plates (DPs). The LM balances out the weight of the FM and stability is brought about by the repulsive effect of the DPs, made of pyrolytic graphite. Two thick cylindrical coils, placed in grooves which are engraved in the DPs, are used to convert the mechanical energy into electrical energy. Experimental frequency response of the system is validated by the theoretical analysis which showed that the VEH works in a low frequency range but sufficient levitation gap was not achieved and the frequency response characteristic of the system was effectively linear. To overcome these challenges, the influence of the geometry of the FM, the LM, and the DP were parametrically studied to assess their effects on the levitation gap, size of the system and the natural frequency. For

  3. Energy harvesting for the implantable biomedical devices: issues and challenges

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The development of implanted devices is essential because of their direct effect on the lives and safety of humanity. This paper presents the current issues and challenges related to all methods used to harvest energy for implantable biomedical devices. The advantages, disadvantages, and future trends of each method are discussed. The concept of harvesting energy from environmental sources and human body motion for implantable devices has gained a new relevance. In this review, the harvesting kinetic, electromagnetic, thermal and infrared radiant energies are discussed. Current issues and challenges related to the typical applications of these methods for energy harvesting are illustrated. Suggestions and discussion of the progress of research on implantable devices are also provided. This review is expected to increase research efforts to develop the battery-less implantable devices with reduced over hole size, low power, high efficiency, high data rate, and improved reliability and feasibility. Based on current literature, we believe that the inductive coupling link is the suitable method to be used to power the battery-less devices. Therefore, in this study, the power efficiency of the inductive coupling method is validated by MATLAB based on suggested values. By further researching and improvements, in the future the implantable and portable medical devices are expected to be free of batteries. PMID:24950601

  4. Myocardial Cell Pattern on Piezoelectric Nanofiber Mats for Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, X.; Wang, X.; Zhao, H.; Du, Y.

    2014-11-01

    The paper presents in vitro contractile myocardial cell pattern on piezoelectric nanofiber mats with applications in energy harvesting. The cell-based energy harvester consists of myocardial cell sheet and a PDMS substrate with a PVDF nanofiber mat on. Experimentally, cultured on specifically distributed nanofiber mats, neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes are characterized with the related morphology and contraction. Previously, we have come up with the concept of energy harvesting from heart beating using piezoelectric material. A bio-hybrid energy harvester combined living cardiomyocytes, PDMS polymer substrate and piezoelectric PVDF film with the electrical output of peak current 87.5nA and peak voltage 92.3mV. However, the thickness of the cardiomyocyte cultured on a two-dimensional substrate is much less than that of the piezoelectric film. The Micro Contact Printing (μCP) method used in cell pattern on the PDMS thin film has tough requirement for the film surface. As such, in this paper we fabricated nanofiber-constructed PDMS thin film to realize cell pattern due to PVDF nanofibers with better piezoelectricity and microstructures of nanofiber mats guiding cell distribution. Living cardiomyocytes patterned on those distributed piezoelectric nanofibers with the result of the same distribution as the nanofiber pattern.

  5. Pyroelectric energy harvesting using liquid-based switchable thermal interfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Cha, G; Ju, YS

    2013-01-15

    The pyroelectric effect offers an intriguing solid-state approach for harvesting ambient thermal energy to power distributed networks of sensors and actuators that are remotely located or otherwise difficult to access. There have been, however, few device-level demonstrations due to challenges in converting spatial temperature gradients into temporal temperature oscillations necessary for pyroelectric energy harvesting. We demonstrate the feasibility of a device concept that uses liquid-based thermal interfaces for rapid switching of the thermal conductance between a pyroelectric material and a heat source/sink and can thereby deliver high output power density. Using a thin film of a pyroelectric co-polymer together with a macroscale mechanical actuator, we operate pyroelectric thermal energy harvesting cycles at frequencies close to 1 Hz. Film-level power densities as high as 110 mW/cm(3) were achieved, limited by slow heat diffusion across a glass substrate. When combined with a laterally interdigitated electrode array and a MEMS actuator, the present design offers an attractive option for compact high-power density thermal energy harvesters. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Energy harvesting for the implantable biomedical devices: issues and challenges.

    PubMed

    Hannan, Mahammad A; Mutashar, Saad; Samad, Salina A; Hussain, Aini

    2014-06-20

    The development of implanted devices is essential because of their direct effect on the lives and safety of humanity. This paper presents the current issues and challenges related to all methods used to harvest energy for implantable biomedical devices. The advantages, disadvantages, and future trends of each method are discussed. The concept of harvesting energy from environmental sources and human body motion for implantable devices has gained a new relevance. In this review, the harvesting kinetic, electromagnetic, thermal and infrared radiant energies are discussed. Current issues and challenges related to the typical applications of these methods for energy harvesting are illustrated. Suggestions and discussion of the progress of research on implantable devices are also provided. This review is expected to increase research efforts to develop the battery-less implantable devices with reduced over hole size, low power, high efficiency, high data rate, and improved reliability and feasibility. Based on current literature, we believe that the inductive coupling link is the suitable method to be used to power the battery-less devices. Therefore, in this study, the power efficiency of the inductive coupling method is validated by MATLAB based on suggested values. By further researching and improvements, in the future the implantable and portable medical devices are expected to be free of batteries.

  7. Nanoscale domain patterns and a concept for an energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renuka Balakrishna, Ananya; Huber, John E.

    2016-10-01

    The current work employs a phase-field model to test the stability of nanoscale periodic domain patterns, and to explore the application of one pattern in an energy harvester device. At first, the stability of several periodic domain patterns with in-plane polarizations is tested under stress-free and electric field-free conditions. It is found that simple domain patterns with stripe-like features are stable, while patterns with more complex domain configurations are typically unstable at the nanoscale. Upon identifying a stable domain pattern with suitable properties, a conceptual design of a thin film energy harvester device is explored. The harvester is modeled as a thin ferroelectric film bound to a substrate. In the initial state a periodic stripe domain pattern with zero net charge on the top electrode is modeled. On bending the substrate, a mechanical strain is induced in the film, causing polarized domains to undergo ferroelectric switching and thus generate electrical energy. The results demonstrate the working cycle of a conceptual energy harvester which, on operating at kHz frequencies, such as from vibrations in the environment, could produce an area power density of about 40 W m-2.

  8. Amplified energy harvester from footsteps: design, modeling, and experimental analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ya; Chen, Wusi; Guzman, Plinio; Zuo, Lei

    2014-04-01

    This paper presents the design, modeling and experimental analysis of an amplified footstep energy harvester. With the unique design of amplified piezoelectric stack harvester the kinetic energy generated by footsteps can be effectively captured and converted into usable DC power that could potentially be used to power many electric devices, such as smart phones, sensors, monitoring cameras, etc. This doormat-like energy harvester can be used in crowded places such as train stations, malls, concerts, airport escalator/elevator/stairs entrances, or anywhere large group of people walk. The harvested energy provides an alternative renewable green power to replace power requirement from grids, which run on highly polluting and global-warming-inducing fossil fuels. In this paper, two modeling approaches are compared to calculate power output. The first method is derived from the single degree of freedom (SDOF) constitutive equations, and then a correction factor is applied onto the resulting electromechanically coupled equations of motion. The second approach is to derive the coupled equations of motion with Hamilton's principle and the constitutive equations, and then formulate it with the finite element method (FEM). Experimental testing results are presented to validate modeling approaches. Simulation results from both approaches agree very well with experimental results where percentage errors are 2.09% for FEM and 4.31% for SDOF.

  9. Energy harvesting from controlled buckling of piezoelectric beams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ansari, M. H.; Karami, M. Amin

    2015-11-01

    A piezoelectric vibration energy harvester is presented that can generate electricity from the weight of passing cars or crowds. The energy harvester consists of a piezoelectric beam, which buckles when the device is stepped on. The energy harvester can have a horizontal or vertical configuration. In the vertical (direct) configuration, the piezoelectric beam is vertical and directly sustains the weight of the vehicles or people. In the horizontal (indirect) configuration, the vertical weight is transferred to a horizontal axial force through a scissor-like mechanism. Buckling of the beam results in significant stresses and, thus, large power production. However, if the beam’s buckling is not controlled, the beam will fracture. To prevent this, the axial deformation is constrained to limit the deformations of the beam. In this paper, the energy harvester is analytically modeled. The considered piezoelectric beam is a general non-uniform beam. The natural frequencies, mode shapes, and the critical buckling force corresponding to each mode shape are calculated. The electro-mechanical coupling and the geometric nonlinearities are included in the model. The design criteria for the device are discussed. It is demonstrated that a device, realized with commonly used piezoelectric patches, can generate tens of milliwatts of power from passing car traffic. The proposed device could also be implemented in the sidewalks or integrated in shoe soles for energy generation. One of the key features of the device is its frequency up-conversion characteristics. The piezoelectric beam undergoes free vibrations each time the weight is applied to or removed from the energy harvester. The frequency of the free vibrations is orders of magnitude larger than the frequency of the load. The device is, thus, both efficient and insensitive to the frequency of the force excitations.

  10. Harvesting the Sun's Energy with Antennas

    ScienceCinema

    INL

    2016-07-12

    Researchers at Idaho National Laboratory, along with partners at Microcontinuum Inc. (Cambridge, MA) and Patrick Pinhero of the University of Missouri, are developing a novel way to collect energy from the sun with a technology that could potentially cost pennies a yard, be imprinted on flexible materials and still draw energy after the sun has set.

  11. Harvesting the Sun's Energy with Antennas

    SciTech Connect

    INL

    2008-05-28

    Researchers at Idaho National Laboratory, along with partners at Microcontinuum Inc. (Cambridge, MA) and Patrick Pinhero of the University of Missouri, are developing a novel way to collect energy from the sun with a technology that could potentially cost pennies a yard, be imprinted on flexible materials and still draw energy after the sun has set.

  12. Solar energy receiver

    DOEpatents

    Schwartz, Jacob

    1978-01-01

    An improved long-life design for solar energy receivers provides for greatly reduced thermally induced stress and permits the utilization of less expensive heat exchanger materials while maintaining receiver efficiencies in excess of 85% without undue expenditure of energy to circulate the working fluid. In one embodiment, the flow index for the receiver is first set as close as practical to a value such that the Graetz number yields the optimal heat transfer coefficient per unit of pumping energy, in this case, 6. The convective index for the receiver is then set as closely as practical to two times the flow index so as to obtain optimal efficiency per unit mass of material.

  13. Thermal energy harvesters with piezoelectric or electrostatic transducer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prokaryn, Piotr; Domański, Krzysztof; Marchewka, Michał; Tomaszewski, Daniel; Grabiec, Piotr; Puscasu, Onoriu; Monfray, Stéphane; Skotnicki, Thomas

    2014-08-01

    This paper describes the idea of the energy harvester which converts thermal gradient present in environment into electricity. Two kinds of such devices are proposed and their prototypes are shown and discussed. The main parts of harvesters are bimetallic spring, piezoelectric transducer or electrostatic transducer with electret. The applied piezomembrane was commercial available product but electrets was made by authors. In the paper a fabrication procedure of electrets formed by the corona discharge process is described. Devices were compared in terms of generated power, charging current, and the voltage across a storage capacitor.

  14. Design, simulation, fabrication, and characterization of MEMS vibration energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oxaal, John

    Energy harvesting from ambient sources has been a longtime goal for microsystem engineers. The energy available from ambient sources is substantial and could be used to power wireless micro devices, making them fully autonomous. Self-powered wireless sensors could have many applications in for autonomous monitoring of residential, commercial, industrial, geological, or biological environments. Ambient vibrations are of particular interest for energy harvesting as they are ubiquitous and have ample kinetic energy. In this work a MEMS device for vibration energy harvesting using a variable capacitor structure is presented. The nonlinear electromechanical dynamics of a gap-closing type structure is experimentally studied. Important experimental considerations such as the importance of reducing off-axis vibration during testing, characterization methods, dust contamination, and the effect of grounding on parasitic capacitance are discussed. A comprehensive physics based model is developed and validated with two different microfabricated devices. To achieve maximal power, devices with high aspect ratio electrodes and a novel two-level stopper system are designed and fabricated. The maximum achieved power from the MEMS device when driven by sinusoidal vibrations was 3.38 muW. Vibrations from HVAC air ducts, which have a primary frequency of 65 Hz and amplitude of 155 mgrms, are targeted as the vibration source and devices are designed for maximal power harvesting potential at those conditions. Harvesting from the air ducts, the devices reached 118 nW of power. When normalized to the operating conditions, the best figure of merit of the devices tested was an order of magnitude above state-of-the-art of the devices (1.24E-6).

  15. Energy Harvesting for Aerospace Structural Health Monitoring Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearson, M. R.; Eaton, M. J.; Pullin, R.; Featherston, C. A.; Holford, K. M.

    2012-08-01

    Recent research into damage detection methodologies, embedded sensors, wireless data transmission and energy harvesting in aerospace environments has meant that autonomous structural health monitoring (SHM) systems are becoming a real possibility. The most promising system would utilise wireless sensor nodes that are able to make decisions on damage and communicate this wirelessly to a central base station. Although such a system shows great potential and both passive and active monitoring techniques exist for detecting damage in structures, powering such wireless sensors nodes poses a problem. Two such energy sources that could be harvested in abundance on an aircraft are vibration and thermal gradients. Piezoelectric transducers mounted to the surface of a structure can be utilised to generate power from a dynamic strain whilst thermoelectric generators (TEG) can be used to generate power from thermal gradients. This paper reports on the viability of these two energy sources for powering a wireless SHM system from vibrations ranging from 20 to 400Hz and thermal gradients up to 50°C. Investigations showed that using a single vibrational energy harvester raw power levels of up to 1mW could be generated. Further numerical modelling demonstrated that by optimising the position and orientation of the vibrational harvester greater levels of power could be achieved. However using commercial TEGs average power levels over a flight period between 5 to 30mW could be generated. Both of these energy harvesting techniques show a great potential in powering current wireless SHM systems where depending on the complexity the power requirements range from 1 to 180mW.

  16. Electret transducer for vibration-based energy harvesting

    SciTech Connect

    Hillenbrand, J. Sessler, G. M.; Pondrom, P.

    2015-05-04

    Vibration-based electret energy harvesters with soft cellular spacer rings are presented. These harvesters are closely related to recently introduced electret accelerometers; however, their development targets are partially differing. Various harvesters with seismic masses from 8 to 23 g and surface potentials in the 500 V regime were built and characterized and powers of up to 8 μW at about 2 kHz and an acceleration of 1 g were measured. An analytical model is presented which, for instance, allows the calculation of the frequency response of the power output into a given load resistance. Finally, experimental and calculated results are compared.

  17. Fluttering energy harvesters in the wind: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCarthy, J. M.; Watkins, S.; Deivasigamani, A.; John, S. J.

    2016-01-01

    The growing area of harvesting energy by aerodynamically induced flutter in a fluid stream is reviewed. Numerous approaches were found to understand, demonstrate and [sometimes] optimise harvester performance based on Movement-Induced or Extraneously Induced Excitation. Almost all research was conducted in smooth, unidirectional flow domains; either experimental or computational. The power outputs were found to be very low when compared to conventional wind turbines, but potential advantages could be lower noise levels. A consideration of the likely outdoor environment for fluttering harvesters revealed that the flow would be highly turbulent and having a mean flow angle in the horizontal plane that could approach a harvester from any direction. Whilst some multiple harvester systems in smooth, well-aligned flow found enhanced efficiency (due to beneficial wake interaction) this would require an invariant flow approach angle. It was concluded that further work needs to be performed to find a universally accepted metric for efficiency and to understand the effects of the realities of the outdoors, including the highly variable and turbulent flow conditions likely to be experienced.

  18. Building interest in solar energy

    SciTech Connect

    1996-12-31

    Today`s solar technology and growing availability of energy-efficient mortgages offer advantages to home builders around the country. This article describes the different types of solar technology as well as the financing incentives that reward buyers of energy-efficient homes. Inset information includes consumer survey results about consumer interest in buying homes with solar features, current extra expense, and future savings, established home energy rating programs, and individual state financial incentives.

  19. Efficient thermal energy harvesting using nanoscale magnetoelectric heterostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etesami, S. R.; Berakdar, J.

    2016-02-01

    Thermomechanical cycles with a ferroelectric working substance convert heat to electrical energy. As shown here, magnetoelectrically coupled ferroelectric/ferromagnetic composites (also called multiferroics) allow for an efficient thermal energy harvesting at room temperature by exploiting the pyroelectric effect. By virtue of the magnetoelectric coupling, external electric and magnetic fields can steer the operation of these heat engines. Our theoretical predictions are based on a combination of Landau-Khalatnikov-Tani approach (with a Ginzburg-Landau-Devonshire potential) to simulate the ferroelectric dynamics coupled to the magnetic dynamics. The latter is treated via the electric-polarization-dependent Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation. By performing an adapted Olsen cycle we show that a multiferroic working substance is potentially much more superior to the sole ferroelectrics, as far as the thermal energy harvesting using pyroelectric effect is concerned. Our proposal holds promise not only for low-energy consuming devices but also for cooling technology.

  20. Energy harvesting with piezoelectric circular membrane under pressure loading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mo, Changki; Davidson, Joseph; Clark, William W.

    2014-04-01

    This paper presents a comprehensive theoretical model for predicting the energy generating performance of an energy harvesting device that uses a piezoelectric circular membrane subject to pressure fluctuation. PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) film is adopted for the membrane. In order to predict the power generating performance due to stretching and bending of the membrane, the total stress on the membrane, rather than the stress at the center point of the circular membrane, is determined using the energy method. Analytical results indicate that the theoretically predicted generated power of the device under normal blood pressure variation is close to experimental results available in the literature. This comprehensive model provides a useful design tool during parameter optimization for energy harvesters that use piezoelectric circular membranes for a pressure fluctuating system.

  1. Near-field thermodynamics: Useful work, efficiency, and energy harvesting

    SciTech Connect

    Latella, Ivan Pérez-Madrid, Agustín; Lapas, Luciano C.; Miguel Rubi, J.

    2014-03-28

    We show that the maximum work that can be obtained from the thermal radiation emitted between two planar sources in the near-field regime is much larger than that corresponding to the blackbody limit. This quantity, as well as an upper bound, for the efficiency of the process is computed from the formulation of thermodynamics in the near-field regime. The case when the difference of temperatures of the hot source and the environment is small, relevant for energy harvesting, is studied in detail. We also show that thermal radiation energy conversion can be more efficient in the near-field regime. These results open new possibilities for the design of energy converters that can be used to harvest energy from sources of moderate temperature at the nanoscale.

  2. Broadband vibratory energy harvesting via bubble shaped response curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Ze-Qi; Chen, Li-Qun

    2016-09-01

    This paper concerns an investigation into the characteristics of a linear-nonlinear coupled electromagnetic energy harvester. The nonlinear oscillator consists of a linear (mass-spring-damper) oscillator with two additional horizontal springs. It is assumed that the vibration is restricted to one direction of harvesting mass to which the parallel magnetic field is induced. Of interest here, however, is the bubble shaped response curves for the amplitude- frequency response, and its potential benefits on the energy harvesting. The Harmonic balance method is used to analysis the power amplitude-frequency response of the system. It is found that the linear and nonlinear resonances could interact with each other at moderate excitation levels, so bubble shaped response curves are formed. The benefits of the nonlinearity on the energy harvesting are achieved. The results are also validated by some numerical work. Then the averaged power under Gaussian white noise is also calculated numerically, the results demonstrate that the bubble shaped response curves design produces more power than other designs under random excitation.

  3. Helmholtz Resonator for Lead Zirconate Titanate Acoustic Energy Harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuda, Tomohiro; Tomii, Kazuki; Hagiwara, Saori; Miyake, Shuntaro; Hasegawa, Yuichi; Sato, Takamitsu; Kaneko, Yuta; Nishioka, Yasushiro

    2013-12-01

    Acoustic energy harvesters that function in environments where sound pressure is extremely high (~150 dB), such as in engine rooms of aircrafts, are expected to be capable of powering wireless health monitoring systems. This paper presents the power generation performances of a lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT) acoustic energy harvester with a vibrating PZT diaphragm. The diaphragm had a diameter of 2 mm, consisting of Al(0.1 μm)/PZT(1 μm)/Pt(0.1 μm)/Ti(0.1 μm)/SiO2(1.5 μm). The harvester generated a power of 1.7×10-13 W under a sound pressure level of 110 dB at the first resonance frequency of 6.28 kHz. It was found that the generated power was increased to 6.8×10-13 W using a sound-collecting Helmholtz resonator cone with the height of 60 mm. The cone provided a Helmholtz resonance at 5.8 kHz, and the generated power increased from 3.4×10-14 W to 1.4×10-13 W at this frequency. The cone was also effective in increasing the bandwidth of the energy harvester.

  4. 25th anniversary article: A soft future: from robots and sensor skin to energy harvesters.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Siegfried; Bauer-Gogonea, Simona; Graz, Ingrid; Kaltenbrunner, Martin; Keplinger, Christoph; Schwödiauer, Reinhard

    2014-01-01

    Scientists are exploring elastic and soft forms of robots, electronic skin and energy harvesters, dreaming to mimic nature and to enable novel applications in wide fields, from consumer and mobile appliances to biomedical systems, sports and healthcare. All conceivable classes of materials with a wide range of mechanical, physical and chemical properties are employed, from liquids and gels to organic and inorganic solids. Functionalities never seen before are achieved. In this review we discuss soft robots which allow actuation with several degrees of freedom. We show that different actuation mechanisms lead to similar actuators, capable of complex and smooth movements in 3d space. We introduce latest research examples in sensor skin development and discuss ultraflexible electronic circuits, light emitting diodes and solar cells as examples. Additional functionalities of sensor skin, such as visual sensors inspired by animal eyes, camouflage, self-cleaning and healing and on-skin energy storage and generation are briefly reviewed. Finally, we discuss a paradigm change in energy harvesting, away from hard energy generators to soft ones based on dielectric elastomers. Such systems are shown to work with high energy of conversion, making them potentially interesting for harvesting mechanical energy from human gait, winds and ocean waves. PMID:24307641

  5. Multi-source energy harvester to power sensing hardware on rotating structures

    SciTech Connect

    Schlichting, Alezander D; Ouellette, Scott; Carlson, Clinton P; Farinholt, Kevin M; Park, Gyuhae; Farrar, Charles

    2010-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposes to meet 20% of the nation's energy needs through wind power by the year 2030. To accomplish this goal, the industry will need to produce larger (> 100m diameter) turbines to increase efficiency and maximize energy production. It will be imperative to instrument the large composite structures with onboard sensing to provide structural health monitoring capabilities to understand the global response and integrity of these systems as they age. A critical component in the deployment of such a system will be a robust power source that can operate for the lifespan of the wind turbine. In this paper we consider the use of discrete, localized power sources that derive energy from the ambient (solar, thermal) or operational (kinetic) environment. This approach will rely on a multi-source configuration that scavenges energy from photovoltaic and piezoelectric transducers. Each harvester is first characterized individually in the laboratory and then they are combined through a multi-source power conditioner that is designed to combine the output of each harvester in series to power a small wireless sensor node that has active-sensing capabilities. The advantages/disadvantages of each approach are discussed, along with the proposed design for a field ready energy harvester that will be deployed on a small-scale 19.8m diameter wind turbine.

  6. Highly transparent triboelectric nanogenerator for harvesting water-related energy reinforced by antireflection coating

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Qijie; Yan, Xiaoqin; Gu, Yousong; Zhang, Kui; Liang, Mengyuan; Lu, Shengnan; Zheng, Xin; Zhang, Yue

    2015-01-01

    Water-related energy is an inexhaustible and renewable energy resource in our environment, which has huge amount of energy and is not largely dictated by daytime and sunlight. The transparent characteristic plays a key role in practical applications for some devices designed for harvesting water-related energy. In this paper, a highly transparent triboelectric nanogenerator (T-TENG) was designed to harvest the electrostatic energy from flowing water. The instantaneous output power density of the T-TENG is 11.56 mW/m2. Moreover, with the PTFE film acting as an antireflection coating, the maximum transmittance of the fabricated T-TENG is 87.4%, which is larger than that of individual glass substrate. The T-TENG can be integrated with silicon-based solar cell, building glass and car glass, which demonstrates its potential applications for harvesting waste water energy in our living environment and on smart home system and smart car system. PMID:25765205

  7. 25th Anniversary Article: A Soft Future: From Robots and Sensor Skin to Energy Harvesters

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Siegfried; Bauer-Gogonea, Simona; Graz, Ingrid; Kaltenbrunner, Martin; Keplinger, Christoph; Schwödiauer, Reinhard

    2014-01-01

    Scientists are exploring elastic and soft forms of robots, electronic skin and energy harvesters, dreaming to mimic nature and to enable novel applications in wide fields, from consumer and mobile appliances to biomedical systems, sports and healthcare. All conceivable classes of materials with a wide range of mechanical, physical and chemical properties are employed, from liquids and gels to organic and inorganic solids. Functionalities never seen before are achieved. In this review we discuss soft robots which allow actuation with several degrees of freedom. We show that different actuation mechanisms lead to similar actuators, capable of complex and smooth movements in 3d space. We introduce latest research examples in sensor skin development and discuss ultraflexible electronic circuits, light emitting diodes and solar cells as examples. Additional functionalities of sensor skin, such as visual sensors inspired by animal eyes, camouflage, self-cleaning and healing and on-skin energy storage and generation are briefly reviewed. Finally, we discuss a paradigm change in energy harvesting, away from hard energy generators to soft ones based on dielectric elastomers. Such systems are shown to work with high energy of conversion, making them potentially interesting for harvesting mechanical energy from human gait, winds and ocean waves. PMID:24307641

  8. 25th anniversary article: A soft future: from robots and sensor skin to energy harvesters.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Siegfried; Bauer-Gogonea, Simona; Graz, Ingrid; Kaltenbrunner, Martin; Keplinger, Christoph; Schwödiauer, Reinhard

    2014-01-01

    Scientists are exploring elastic and soft forms of robots, electronic skin and energy harvesters, dreaming to mimic nature and to enable novel applications in wide fields, from consumer and mobile appliances to biomedical systems, sports and healthcare. All conceivable classes of materials with a wide range of mechanical, physical and chemical properties are employed, from liquids and gels to organic and inorganic solids. Functionalities never seen before are achieved. In this review we discuss soft robots which allow actuation with several degrees of freedom. We show that different actuation mechanisms lead to similar actuators, capable of complex and smooth movements in 3d space. We introduce latest research examples in sensor skin development and discuss ultraflexible electronic circuits, light emitting diodes and solar cells as examples. Additional functionalities of sensor skin, such as visual sensors inspired by animal eyes, camouflage, self-cleaning and healing and on-skin energy storage and generation are briefly reviewed. Finally, we discuss a paradigm change in energy harvesting, away from hard energy generators to soft ones based on dielectric elastomers. Such systems are shown to work with high energy of conversion, making them potentially interesting for harvesting mechanical energy from human gait, winds and ocean waves.

  9. Performance criteria for dynamic window systems using nanostructured behaviors for energy harvesting and environmental comfort

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andow, Brandon C.; Krietemeyer, Bess; Stark, Peter R. H.; Dyson, Anna H.

    2013-04-01

    Contemporary commercial building types continue to incorporate predominantly glazed envelope systems, despite the associated challenges with thermal regulation, visual comfort, and increased energy consumption. The advantage of window systems that could adaptively respond to changes in the environment while meeting variable demands for building energy use and occupant comfort has led to considerable investment towards the advancement of dynamic window technologies. Although these technologies demonstrate cost warranting improvements in building energy performance, they face challenges with visible clarity, color variability and response time. Furthermore, they remain challenged with respect to their ability to adequately control important qualitative criteria for daylighting such as glare and balanced light redistribution within occupied spaces. The material dependent limitations of advanced glazing technologies have initiated a search for new thin film solutions, with new device possibilities emerging across many fields. Idealized window performance has traditionally been defined as the dynamic control of solar transmittance, glare, solar gain and daylighting at any time to manage energy, comfort and view. However, in the context of wider goals towards building energy self-sufficiency through the achievement of on-site net zero energy, emerging material systems point towards other physical phenomena for achieving transparency modulation and energy harvesting, demanding a broader range of criteria for advanced glazing controls that allow the glazed building envelope to exist as a transfer function that can address and potentially accommodate the following five principal criteria: 1. Thermal management; 2. Daylighting harvesting and modulation; 3. Maintenance of views; 4. Active power capture, transfer, storage and redistribution; 5. Information Display. Building upon the existing set of performance requirements for high-performance glazing, this paper prescribes

  10. Solar energy for the hospital?

    PubMed

    1981-01-01

    You can't scrap your boiler and expect solar panels to provide steam for process and heating, but solar systems are cost-effective now for domestic hot water generation, according to a leading solar energy engineering/design/build firm.

  11. Support for solar energy collectors

    DOEpatents

    Cole, Corey; Ardell-Smith, Zachary; Ciasulli, John; Jensen, Soren

    2016-11-01

    A solar energy collection system can include support devices configured to accommodate misalignment of components during assembly. For example, the system can include piles fixed to the earth and an adjustable bearing assembly at the upper end of the pile. The adjustable bearing assembly can include at least one of a vertical adjustment device, a lateral adjustment device and an angular adjustment device. The solar energy collection system can also include a plurality of solar energy collection device pre-wired together and mounted to a support member so as to form modular units. The system can also include enhanced supports for wire trays extending between rows of solar energy collection devices.

  12. Energy adaptive MAC protocol for IEEE 802.15.7 with energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hong-qiao; Chi, Xue-fen; Zhao, Lin-lin

    2016-09-01

    The medium access control (MAC) protocol for indoor visible light communication (VLC) with energy harvesting is explored in this paper. The unfairness of throughput exists among devices due to the significant difference of their energy harvesting rates which changes with distance, acceptance angle and the obstruction probability. We propose an energy harvesting model, a new obstruction probability model and an energy adaptive contention algorithm to overcome the unfairness problem. This device can adjust its contention window according to the energy harvesting rate. As a result, the device with lower energy harvesting rate can get shorter contention window to improve its transmission opportunity. Simulation results show that our MAC protocol can achieve a higher degree of fairness.

  13. Novel composite piezoelectric material for energy harvesting applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janusas, Giedrius; Guobiene, Asta; Palevicius, Arvydas; Prosycevas, Igoris; Ponelyte, Sigita; Baltrusaitis, Valentinas; Sakalys, Rokas

    2015-04-01

    Past few decades were concentrated on researches related to effective energy harvesting applied in modern technologies, MEMS or MOEMS systems. There are many methods for harvesting energy as, for example, usage of electromagnetic devices, but most dramatic changes were noticed in the usage of piezoelectric materials in small scale devices. Major limitation faced was too small generated power by piezoelectric materials or high resonant frequencies of such smallscale harvesters. In this research, novel composite piezoelectric material was created by mixing PZT powder with 20% solution of polyvinyl butyral in benzyl alcohol. Obtained paste was screen printed on copper foil using 325 mesh stainless steel screen and dried for 30 min at 100 °C. Polyvinyl butyral ensures good adhesion and flexibility of a new material at the conditions that requires strong binding. Five types of a composite piezoelectric material with different concentrations of PZT (40%, 50%, 60%, 70% and 80 %) were produced. As the results showed, these harvesters were able to transform mechanical strain energy into electric potential and, v.v. In experimental setup, electromagnetic shaker was used to excite energy harvester that is fixed in the custom-built clamp, while generated electric potential were registered with USB oscilloscope PICO 3424. The designed devices generate up to 80 μV at 50 Hz excitation. This property can be applied to power microsystem devices or to use them in portable electronics and wireless sensors. However, the main advantage of the created composite piezoelectric material is possibility to apply it on any uniform or nonuniform vibrating surface and to transform low frequency vibrations into electricity.

  14. Terrestrial solar thermionic energy conversion systems concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shimada, K.; Swerdling, M.

    1975-01-01

    Results obtained from studies of a (1) solar concentrator, (2) solar energy receiver - thermionic converter system, and (3) solar thermionic topping system are described. Peripheral subsystems, which are required for any solar energy conversion system, are also discussed.

  15. Structural Optimization of Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Harvesting Water Wave Energy.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Tao; Zhang, Li Min; Chen, Xiangyu; Han, Chang Bao; Tang, Wei; Zhang, Chi; Xu, Liang; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2015-12-22

    Ocean waves are one of the most abundant energy sources on earth, but harvesting such energy is rather challenging due to various limitations of current technologies. Recently, networks formed by triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) have been proposed as a promising technology for harvesting water wave energy. In this work, a basic unit for the TENG network was studied and optimized, which has a box structure composed of walls made of TENG composed of a wavy-structured Cu-Kapton-Cu film and two FEP thin films, with a metal ball enclosed inside. By combination of the theoretical calculations and experimental studies, the output performances of the TENG unit were investigated for various structural parameters, such as the size, mass, or number of the metal balls. From the viewpoint of theory, the output characteristics of TENG during its collision with the ball were numerically calculated by the finite element method and interpolation method, and there exists an optimum ball size or mass to reach maximized output power and electric energy. Moreover, the theoretical results were well verified by the experimental tests. The present work could provide guidance for structural optimization of wavy-structured TENGs for effectively harvesting water wave energy toward the dream of large-scale blue energy. PMID:26567754

  16. Broadband energy harvesting using acoustic black hole structural tailoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Liuxian; Conlon, Stephen C.; Semperlotti, Fabio

    2014-06-01

    This paper explores the concept of an acoustic black hole (ABH) as a main design framework for performing dynamic structural tailoring of mechanical systems for vibration energy harvesting applications. The ABH is an integral feature embedded in the host structure that allows for a smooth reduction of the phase velocity, theoretically approaching zero, while minimizing the reflected energy. This mechanism results in structural areas with high energy density that can be effectively exploited to develop enhanced vibration-based energy harvesting. Fully coupled electro-mechanical models of an ABH tapered structure with surface mounted piezo-transducers are developed to numerically simulate the response of the system to both steady state and transient excitations. The design performances are numerically evaluated using structural intensity data as well as the instantaneous voltage/power and energy output produced by the piezo-transducer network. Results show that the dynamically tailored structural design enables a drastic increase in the harvested energy as compared to traditional structures, both under steady state and transient excitation conditions.

  17. Structural Optimization of Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Harvesting Water Wave Energy.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Tao; Zhang, Li Min; Chen, Xiangyu; Han, Chang Bao; Tang, Wei; Zhang, Chi; Xu, Liang; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2015-12-22

    Ocean waves are one of the most abundant energy sources on earth, but harvesting such energy is rather challenging due to various limitations of current technologies. Recently, networks formed by triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) have been proposed as a promising technology for harvesting water wave energy. In this work, a basic unit for the TENG network was studied and optimized, which has a box structure composed of walls made of TENG composed of a wavy-structured Cu-Kapton-Cu film and two FEP thin films, with a metal ball enclosed inside. By combination of the theoretical calculations and experimental studies, the output performances of the TENG unit were investigated for various structural parameters, such as the size, mass, or number of the metal balls. From the viewpoint of theory, the output characteristics of TENG during its collision with the ball were numerically calculated by the finite element method and interpolation method, and there exists an optimum ball size or mass to reach maximized output power and electric energy. Moreover, the theoretical results were well verified by the experimental tests. The present work could provide guidance for structural optimization of wavy-structured TENGs for effectively harvesting water wave energy toward the dream of large-scale blue energy.

  18. Power management circuit for resonant energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jirku, Tomas; Steinbauer, Miloslav; Kluge, Martin

    2009-05-01

    This paper deals with the design of the power management circuit for the vibration generator developed in the frame of the European WISE project and its testing in the connection with the generator and the dynamic load simulating the real load. This generator is used as an autonomous energy source for wireless sensor applications. It can be used for example in the aeronautic, automotive and many other applications. The generator output power analysis was based on the vibration spectrum measured on the helicopter engine, provided by the consortium EADS, EUROCOPTER, DASSAULT AVIATION - 6.RP -WIreless SEnsing (WISE) project. This spectrum shows very unstable vibration levels. It was done the statistical analysis of these vibration levels and it was shown that there is a need of the power management circuit, which can provide a stable output voltage for the supplied circuit and if there is a need it can store an immediately unusable generated energy. The generator can't be used as the only energy source for the sensor circuit, because there are not any vibrations when for example a motor is stopped. In these periods and in the time of low vibration levels the circuit must be supplied from battery. The power management circuit described in this paper fulfills these requirements. It has two power inputs - the battery and the generator. It can switch between them at certain defined generator output levels by the threshold detector. Also when there is too much of the generated power, it can store the extra energy in the storage for the later usage. The storage device is the advanced capacitor. The advanced capacitor is a device containing three capacitors. These capacitors are connected (and charged) sequentially so the increasing capacity is provided. The developed power management was tested in the connection with the real vibration generator raised by stable vibration levels and the dynamic load simulating the real sensor in the main operation stages - sampling and data

  19. Energy harvesting through a backpack employing a mechanically amplified piezoelectric stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feenstra, Joel; Granstrom, Jon; Sodano, Henry

    2008-04-01

    Over the past few decades, the use of portable and wearable electronics has grown steadily. These devices are becoming increasingly more powerful, however, the gains that have been made in the device performance has resulted in the need for significantly higher power to operate the electronics. This issue has been further complicated due to the stagnate growth of battery technology over the past decade. In order to increase the life of these electronics, researchers have begun investigating methods of generating energy from ambient sources such that the life of the electronics can be prolonged. Recent developments in the field have led to the design of a number of mechanisms that can be used to generate electrical energy, from a variety of sources including thermal, solar, strain, inertia, etc. Many of these energy sources are available for use with humans, but their use must be carefully considered such that parasitic effects that could disrupt the user's gait or endurance are avoided. This study develops a novel energy harvesting backpack that can generate electrical energy from the differential forces between the wearer and the pack. The goal of this system is to make the energy harvesting device transparent to the wearer such that his or her endurance and dexterity is not compromised. This will be accomplished by replacing the strap buckle with a mechanically amplified piezoelectric stack actuator. Piezoelectric stack actuators have found little use in energy harvesting applications due to their high stiffness which makes straining the material difficult. This issue will be alleviated using a mechanically amplified stack which allows the relatively low forces generated by the pack to be transformed to high forces on the piezoelectric stack. This paper will develop a theoretical model of the piezoelectric buckle and perform experimental testing to validate the model accuracy and energy harvesting performance.

  20. A miniature airflow energy harvester from piezoelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, H.; Zhu, D.; White, N. M.; Beeby, S. P.

    2013-12-01

    This paper describes design, simulation, fabrication, and testing of a miniature wind energy harvester based on a flapping cantilevered piezoelectric beam. The wind generator is based on oscillations of a cantilever that faces the direction of the airflow. The oscillation is amplified by interactions between an aerofoil attached on the cantilever and a bluff body placed in front of the aerofoil. A piezoelectric transducer with screen printed PZT materials is used to extract electrical energy. To achieve the optimum design of the harvester, both computational simulations and experiments have been carried out to investigate the structure. A prototype of the wind harvester, with the volume of 37.5 cm3 in total, was fabricated by thick-film screen printing technique. Wind tunnel test results are presented to determine the optimum structure and to characterize the performance of the harvester. The optimized device finally achieved a working wind speed range from 1.5 m/s to 8 m/s. The power output was ranging from 0.1 to 0.86 μW and the open-circuit output voltage was from 0.5 V to 1.32 V.

  1. Design and experimental evaluation on an advanced multisource energy harvesting system for wireless sensor nodes.

    PubMed

    Li, Hao; Zhang, Gaofei; Ma, Rui; You, Zheng

    2014-01-01

    An effective multisource energy harvesting system is presented as power supply for wireless sensor nodes (WSNs). The advanced system contains not only an expandable power management module including control of the charging and discharging process of the lithium polymer battery but also an energy harvesting system using the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) circuit with analog driving scheme for the collection of both solar and vibration energy sources. Since the MPPT and the power management module are utilized, the system is able to effectively achieve a low power consumption. Furthermore, a super capacitor is integrated in the system so that current fluctuations of the lithium polymer battery during the charging and discharging processes can be properly reduced. In addition, through a simple analog switch circuit with low power consumption, the proposed system can successfully switch the power supply path according to the ambient energy sources and load power automatically. A practical WSNs platform shows that efficiency of the energy harvesting system can reach about 75-85% through the 24-hour environmental test, which confirms that the proposed system can be used as a long-term continuous power supply for WSNs. PMID:25032233

  2. Design and Experimental Evaluation on an Advanced Multisource Energy Harvesting System for Wireless Sensor Nodes

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hao; Zhang, Gaofei; Ma, Rui; You, Zheng

    2014-01-01

    An effective multisource energy harvesting system is presented as power supply for wireless sensor nodes (WSNs). The advanced system contains not only an expandable power management module including control of the charging and discharging process of the lithium polymer battery but also an energy harvesting system using the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) circuit with analog driving scheme for the collection of both solar and vibration energy sources. Since the MPPT and the power management module are utilized, the system is able to effectively achieve a low power consumption. Furthermore, a super capacitor is integrated in the system so that current fluctuations of the lithium polymer battery during the charging and discharging processes can be properly reduced. In addition, through a simple analog switch circuit with low power consumption, the proposed system can successfully switch the power supply path according to the ambient energy sources and load power automatically. A practical WSNs platform shows that efficiency of the energy harvesting system can reach about 75–85% through the 24-hour environmental test, which confirms that the proposed system can be used as a long-term continuous power supply for WSNs. PMID:25032233

  3. Design and experimental evaluation on an advanced multisource energy harvesting system for wireless sensor nodes.

    PubMed

    Li, Hao; Zhang, Gaofei; Ma, Rui; You, Zheng

    2014-01-01

    An effective multisource energy harvesting system is presented as power supply for wireless sensor nodes (WSNs). The advanced system contains not only an expandable power management module including control of the charging and discharging process of the lithium polymer battery but also an energy harvesting system using the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) circuit with analog driving scheme for the collection of both solar and vibration energy sources. Since the MPPT and the power management module are utilized, the system is able to effectively achieve a low power consumption. Furthermore, a super capacitor is integrated in the system so that current fluctuations of the lithium polymer battery during the charging and discharging processes can be properly reduced. In addition, through a simple analog switch circuit with low power consumption, the proposed system can successfully switch the power supply path according to the ambient energy sources and load power automatically. A practical WSNs platform shows that efficiency of the energy harvesting system can reach about 75-85% through the 24-hour environmental test, which confirms that the proposed system can be used as a long-term continuous power supply for WSNs.

  4. Structures, systems and methods for harvesting energy from electromagnetic radiation

    DOEpatents

    Novack, Steven D.; Kotter, Dale K.; Pinhero, Patrick J.

    2011-12-06

    Methods, devices and systems for harvesting energy from electromagnetic radiation are provided including harvesting energy from electromagnetic radiation. In one embodiment, a device includes a substrate and one or more resonance elements disposed in or on the substrate. The resonance elements are configured to have a resonant frequency, for example, in at least one of the infrared, near-infrared and visible light spectra. A layer of conductive material may be disposed over a portion of the substrate to form a ground plane. An optical resonance gap or stand-off layer may be formed between the resonance elements and the ground plane. The optical resonance gap extends a distance between the resonance elements and the layer of conductive material approximately one-quarter wavelength of a wavelength of the at least one resonance element's resonant frequency. At least one energy transfer element may be associated with the at least one resonance element.

  5. A Belleville-spring-based electromagnetic energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castagnetti, Davide

    2015-09-01

    Energy harvesting from kinetic ambient energy is particularly effective to power autonomous sensors. This work proposes an innovative energy converter based on two counteracting Belleville springs and exploiting their peculiarity, for a height to thickness ratio equal to 1.414, of nearly zero stiffness over a wide deflection range. After analytical and numerical modelling a prototype is developed and experimentally investigated. The sub-optimal geometry of the commercial springs used in the prototype, together with a non-ideal response, makes the operating frequency for the prototype higher than in analytical and numerical predictions. Nevertheless, the harvester exhibits a significantly large bandwidth, together with a high output power, compared to similar solutions in the literature, for all the examined configurations and input excitations.

  6. Characterization of a rotary hybrid multimodal energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larkin, Miles R.; Tadesse, Yonas

    2014-04-01

    In this study, experimental characterizations of a new hybrid energy harvesting device consisting of piezoelectric and electromagnetic transducers are presented. The generator, to be worn on the legs or arms of a person, harnesses linear motion and impact forces from human motion to generate electrical energy. The device consists of an unbalanced rotor made of three piezoelectric beams which have permanent magnets attached to the ends. Impact forces cause the beams to vibrate, generating a voltage across their electrodes and linear motion causes the rotor to spin. As the rotor spins, the magnets pass over ten electromagnetic coils mounted to the base, inducing a current through the wire. Several design related issues were investigated experimentally in order to optimize the hybrid device for maximum power generation. Further experiments were conducted on the system to characterize the energy harvesting capabilities of the device, all of which are presented in this study.

  7. Enhance piezoelectric energy harvesting by stiffness compensation using magnetic effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Jiawen; Tang, J.

    2013-04-01

    Piezoelectric transducers are widely employed in vibration-based energy harvesting schemes. The efficiency of piezoelectric transducers fundamentally hinges upon the electro-mechanical coupling effect. While at the material level such coupling is decided by material property, at the device level it is possible to vary and improve the energy conversion capability between the electrical and mechanical regimes by a variety of means. In this research, a new approach of compensating the effective flexibility of piezoelectric transducers by using non-contact magnetic effect is explored. It is shown that properly configured and positioned magnet arrays can induce approximately linear attraction force that can improve the electro-mechanical coupling of the piezoelectric energy harvester. Analytical and experimental studies are carried out to demonstrate the enhancement.

  8. Piezoelectric polymer multilayer on flexible substrate for energy harvesting.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Oh, Sharon Roslyn; Wong, Ting Chong; Tan, Chin Yaw; Yao, Kui

    2013-09-01

    A piezoelectric polymer multilayer structure formed on a flexible substrate is investigated for mechanical energy harvesting under bending mode. Analytical and numerical models are developed to clarify the effect of material parameters critical to the energy harvesting performance of the bending multilayer structure. It is shown that the maximum power is proportional to the square of the piezoelectric stress coefficient and the inverse of dielectric permittivity of the piezoelectric polymer. It is further found that a piezoelectric multilayer with thinner electrodes can generate more electric energy in bending mode. The effect of improved impedance matching in the multilayer polymer on energy output is remarkable. Comparisons between piezoelectric ceramic multilayers and polymer multilayers on flexible substrate are discussed. The fabrication of a P(VDF-TrFE) multilayer structure with a thin Al electrode layer is experimentally demonstrated by a scalable dip-coating process on a flexible aluminum substrate. The results indicate that it is feasible to produce a piezoelectric polymer multilayer structure on flexible substrate for harvesting mechanical energy applicable for many low-power electronics.

  9. Piezoelectric polymer multilayer on flexible substrate for energy harvesting.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Oh, Sharon Roslyn; Wong, Ting Chong; Tan, Chin Yaw; Yao, Kui

    2013-09-01

    A piezoelectric polymer multilayer structure formed on a flexible substrate is investigated for mechanical energy harvesting under bending mode. Analytical and numerical models are developed to clarify the effect of material parameters critical to the energy harvesting performance of the bending multilayer structure. It is shown that the maximum power is proportional to the square of the piezoelectric stress coefficient and the inverse of dielectric permittivity of the piezoelectric polymer. It is further found that a piezoelectric multilayer with thinner electrodes can generate more electric energy in bending mode. The effect of improved impedance matching in the multilayer polymer on energy output is remarkable. Comparisons between piezoelectric ceramic multilayers and polymer multilayers on flexible substrate are discussed. The fabrication of a P(VDF-TrFE) multilayer structure with a thin Al electrode layer is experimentally demonstrated by a scalable dip-coating process on a flexible aluminum substrate. The results indicate that it is feasible to produce a piezoelectric polymer multilayer structure on flexible substrate for harvesting mechanical energy applicable for many low-power electronics. PMID:24658732

  10. Structural modelling of a compliant flexure flow energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatterjee, Punnag; Bryant, Matthew

    2015-09-01

    This paper presents the concept of a flow-induced vibration energy harvester based on a one-piece compliant flexure structure. This energy harvester utilizes the aeroelastic flutter phenomenon to convert flow energy to structural vibrational energy and to electrical power output through piezoelectric transducers. This flexure creates a discontinuity in the structural stiffness and geometry that can be used to tailor the mode shapes and natural frequencies of the device to the desired operating flow regime while eliminating the need for discrete hinges that are subject to fouling and friction. An approximate representation of the flexure rigidity is developed from the flexure link geometry, and a model of the complete discontinuous structure and integrated flexure is formulated based on the transfer matrix method. The natural frequencies and mode shapes predicted by the model are validated using finite element simulations and are shown to be in close agreement. A proof-of-concept energy harvester incorporating the proposed flexure design has been fabricated and investigated in wind tunnel testing. The aeroelastic modal convergence, critical flutter wind speed, power output and limit cycle behavior of this device is experimentally determined and discussed.

  11. Dielectric Elastomers for Actuation and Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brochu, Paul A.

    actuators. The fault-tolerance and improved interlayer adhesion was used to fabricate prestrained free-standing silicone actuators capable of stable long life actuation (>30,000 cycles at >20% strain and >500 cycles at ˜40% strain) while driving a load. Issues related to gradual electrode degradation are also addressed through the use of quasi-buckled electrodes. For generator purposes, the primary concerns are ensuring environmental stability, increasing energy density, lowering losses, and determining effective methods to couple the dielectric elastomer to natural energy sources. Using the results of this analysis, two material systems are explored: VHB acrylic elastomers at various prestrains and with various amounts of a stiffening additive, and a high energy density silicone-TiO2 nanocomposite elastomer with various amounts of additive. It is shown that increasing prestrain in the VHB acrylic system increases the energy density, while the stiffening additive has the effect of making the acrylic stiffer but results in increased losses, result in poorer performance. The silicone TiO2 composite demonstrates an increase in permittivity and stiffness with increasing additive while maintaining very high dielectric breakdown strength values. These increases are partially offset by small increases in mechanical and electrical losses. Calculations based on a simple model show that the generator energy density can be improved by a factor of 3 for a 20wt.% TiO2 loading at a strain of 50% in area. The calculated generator energy density values exceed the maximum values measured experimentally for highly prestrained VHB4910 acrylic elastomers. The focus on high energy density materials ignores the fact that not all applications require such a material, and that some applications may, in fact, benefit from the use of a softer material that is less intrusive. However, for lower energy density materials, parasitic losses due to electrode resistance and viscoelasticity play a larger

  12. Feasibility of Energy Harvesting Using a Piezoelectric Tire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malotte, Christopher

    While the piezoelectric effect has been around for some time, it has only recently caught interest as a potential sustainable energy harvesting device. Piezoelectric energy harvesting has been developed for shoes and panels, but has yet to be integrated into a marketable bicycle tire. For this thesis, the development and feasibility of a piezoelectric tire was done. This includes the development of a circuit that incorporates piezoceramic elements, energy harvesting circuitry, and an energy storage device. A single phase circuit was designed using an ac-dc diode rectifier. An electrolytic capacitor was used as the energy storage device. A financial feasibility was also done to determine targets for manufacturing cost and sales price. These models take into account market trends for high performance tires, economies of scale, and the possibility of government subsidies. This research will help understand the potential for the marketability of a piezoelectric energy harvesting tire that can create electricity for remote use. This study found that there are many obstacles that must be addressed before a piezoelectric tire can be marketed to the general public. The power output of this device is minuscule compared to an alkaline battery. In order for this device to approach the power output of an alkaline battery the weight of the device would also become an issue. Additionally this device is very costly compared to the average bicycle tire. Lastly, this device is extreme fragile and easily broken. In order for this device to become marketable the issues of power output, cost, weight, and durability must all be successfully overcome.

  13. Hydrogen production from solar energy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eisenstadt, M. M.; Cox, K. E.

    1975-01-01

    Three alternatives for hydrogen production from solar energy have been analyzed on both efficiency and economic grounds. The analysis shows that the alternative using solar energy followed by thermochemical decomposition of water to produce hydrogen is the optimum one. The other schemes considered were the direct conversion of solar energy to electricity by silicon cells and water electrolysis, and the use of solar energy to power a vapor cycle followed by electrical generation and electrolysis. The capital cost of hydrogen via the thermochemical alternative was estimated at $575/kW of hydrogen output or $3.15/million Btu. Although this cost appears high when compared with hydrogen from other primary energy sources or from fossil fuel, environmental and social costs which favor solar energy may prove this scheme feasible in the future.

  14. Acoustic energy harvesting using an electromechanical Helmholtz resonator.

    PubMed

    Liu, Fei; Phipps, Alex; Horowitz, Stephen; Ngo, Khai; Cattafesta, Louis; Nishida, Toshikazu; Sheplak, Mark

    2008-04-01

    This paper presents the development of an acoustic energy harvester using an electromechanical Helmholtz resonator (EMHR). The EMHR consists of an orifice, cavity, and a piezoelectric diaphragm. Acoustic energy is converted to mechanical energy when sound incident on the orifice generates an oscillatory pressure in the cavity, which in turns causes the vibration of the diaphragm. The conversion of acoustic energy to electrical energy is achieved via piezoelectric transduction in the diaphragm of the EMHR. Moreover, the diaphragm is coupled with energy reclamation circuitry to increase the efficiency of the energy conversion. Lumped element modeling of the EMHR is used to provide physical insight into the coupled energy domain dynamics governing the energy reclamation process. The feasibility of acoustic energy reclamation using an EMHR is demonstrated in a plane wave tube for two power converter topologies. The first is comprised of only a rectifier, and the second uses a rectifier connected to a flyback converter to improve load matching. Experimental results indicate that approximately 30 mW of output power is harvested for an incident sound pressure level of 160 dB with a flyback converter. Such power level is sufficient to power a variety of low power electronic devices. PMID:18397006

  15. Self-assembled photosynthesis-inspired light harvesting material and solar cells containing the same

    DOEpatents

    Lindsey, Jonathan S.; Chinnasamy, Muthiah; Fan, Dazhong

    2009-12-15

    A solar cell is described that comprises: (a) a semiconductor charge separation material; (b) at least one electrode connected to the charge separation material; and (c) a light-harvesting film on the charge separation material, the light-harvesting film comprising non-covalently coupled, self-assembled units of porphyrinic macrocycles. The porphyrinic macrocycles preferably comprise: (i) an intramolecularly coordinated metal; (ii) a first coordinating substituent; and (iii) a second coordinating substituent opposite the first coordinating substituent. The porphyrinic macrocycles can be assembled by repeating intermolecular coordination complexes of the metal, the first coordinating substituent and the second coordinating substituent.

  16. Sound insulation and energy harvesting based on acoustic metamaterial plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Assouar, Badreddine; Oudich, Mourad; Zhou, Xiaoming

    2015-03-01

    The emergence of artificially designed sub-wavelength acoustic materials, denoted acoustic metamaterials (AMM), has significantly broadened the range of materials responses found in nature. These engineered materials can indeed manipulate sound/vibration in surprising ways, which include vibration/sound insulation, focusing, cloaking, acoustic energy harvesting …. In this work, we report both on the analysis of the airborne sound transmission loss (STL) through a thin metamaterial plate and on the possibility of acoustic energy harvesting. We first provide a theoretical study of the airborne STL and confronted them to the structure-borne dispersion of a metamaterial plate. Second, we propose to investigate the acoustic energy harvesting capability of the plate-type AMM. We have developed semi-analytical and numerical methods to investigate the STL performances of a plate-type AMM with an airborne sound excitation having different incident angles. The AMM is made of silicone rubber stubs squarely arranged in a thin aluminum plate, and the STL is calculated at low-frequency range [100Hz to 3kHz] for an incoming incident sound pressure wave. The obtained analytical and numerical STL present a very good agreement confirming the reliability of developed approaches. A comparison between computed STL and the band structure of the considered AMM shows an excellent agreement and gives a physical understanding of the observed behavior. On another hand, the acoustic energy confinement in AMM with created defects with suitable geometry was investigated. The first results give a general view for assessing the acoustic energy harvesting performances making use of AMM.

  17. An electroactive polymer energy harvester for wireless sensor networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKay, T. G.; Rosset, S.; Anderson, I. A.; Shea, H.

    2013-12-01

    This paper reports the design, fabrication, and testing of a soft electroactive polymer power generator that has a volume of 1cm3. The generator provides an opportunity to harvest energy from environmental sources to power wireless sensor networks because it can harvest from low frequency motions, is compact, and lightweight. Electroactive polymers are highly stretchable variable capacitors. Electrical energy is produced when the deformation of a stretched, charged electroactive polymer is relaxed; like-charges are compressed together and opposite-charges are pushed apart, resulting in an increased voltage. Although electroactive polymers have impressively displayed energy densities as high as 550 mJ/g, they have been based on films with thicknesses of tens to hundreds of micrometers, thus a generator covering a large area would be required to provide useful power. Energy harvesters covering large areas are inconvenient to deploy in a wireless sensor network with a large number of nodes, so a generator that is compact in all three dimensions is required. In this work we fabricated a generator that can fit within a 11×11×9 mm envelope by stacking 42, 11mm diameter generator films on top of each other. When compressed cyclically at a rate of 0.5 Hz our generator produced 300 uW of power which is a sufficient amount of power for a low power wireless sensor node. The combination of our generator's small form factor and ability to harvest useful energy from low frequency motions provides an opportunity to deploy large numbers of wireless sensor nodes without the need for periodic, costly battery replacement.

  18. Solar Energy Project: Teacher's Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tullock, Bruce, Ed.; And Others

    This collection of materials supports the teaching of solar energy concepts in the context of secondary school science. Included in this collection are a basic teacher's guide to activities involved in the curriculum; a discussion of multi-disciplinary extensions of solar energy education by subject area; a section on hardware needed for the…

  19. Advanced model for fast assessment of piezoelectric micro energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ardito, Raffaele; Corigliano, Alberto; Gafforelli, Giacomo; Valzasina, Carlo; Procopio, Francesco; Zafalon, Roberto

    2016-04-01

    The purpose of this work is to present recent advances in modelling and design of piezoelectric energy harvesters, in the framework of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS). More specifically, the case of inertial energy harvesting is considered, in the sense that the kinetic energy due to environmental vibration is transformed into electrical energy by means of piezoelectric transduction. The execution of numerical analyses is greatly important in order to predict the actual behaviour of MEMS devices and to carry out the optimization process. In the common practice, the results are obtained by means of burdensome 3D Finite Element Analyses (FEA). The case of beams could be treated by applying 1D models, which can enormously reduce the computational burden with obvious benefits in the case of repeated analyses. Unfortunately, the presence of piezoelectric coupling may entail some serious issues in view of its intrinsically three-dimensional behaviour. In this paper, a refined, yet simple, model is proposed with the objective of retaining the Euler-Bernoulli beam model, with the inclusion of effects connected to the actual three-dimensional shape of the device. The proposed model is adopted to evaluate the performances of realistic harvesters, both in the case of harmonic excitation and for impulsive loads.

  20. Energy harvesting “3-D knitted spacer” based piezoelectric textiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anand, S.; Soin, N.; Shah, T. H.; Siores, E.

    2016-07-01

    The piezoelectric effect in Poly(vinylidene fluoride), PVDF, was discovered over four decades ago and since then, significant work has been carried out aiming at the production of high p-phase fibres and their integration into fabric structures for energy harvesting. However, little work has been done in the area of production of “true piezoelectric fabric structures” based on flexible polymeric materials such as PVDF. In this work, we demonstrate “3-D knitted spacer” technology based all-fibre piezoelectric fabrics as power generators and energy harvesters. The knitted single-structure piezoelectric generator consists of high p-phase (~80%) piezoelectric PVDF monofilaments as the spacer yarn interconnected between silver (Ag) coated polyamide multifilament yarn layers acting as the top and bottom electrodes. The novel and unique textile structure provides an output power density in the range of 1.105.10 gWcm-2 at applied impact pressures in the range of 0.02-0.10 MPa, thus providing significantly higher power outputs and efficiencies over the existing 2-D woven and nonwoven piezoelectric structures. The high energy efficiency, mechanical durability and comfort of the soft, flexible and all-fibre based power generator is highly attractive for a variety of potential applications such as wearable electronic systems and energy harvesters charged from ambient environment or by human movement.

  1. Roles of the Excitation in Harvesting Energy from Vibrations.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hui; Ma, Tianwei

    2015-01-01

    The study investigated the role of excitation in energy harvesting applications. While the energy ultimately comes from the excitation, it was shown that the excitation may not always behave as a source. When the device characteristics do not perfectly match the excitation, the excitation alternately behaves as a source and a sink. The extent to which the excitation behaves as a sink determines the energy harvesting efficiency. Such contradictory roles were shown to be dictated by a generalized phase defined as the instantaneous phase angle between the velocity of the device and the excitation. An inductive prototype device with a diamagnetically levitated seismic mass was proposed to take advantage of the well established phase changing mechanism of vibro-impact to achieve a broader device bandwidth. Results suggest that the vibro-impact can generate an instantaneous, significant phase shift in response velocity that switches the role of the excitation. If introduced properly outside the resonance zone it could dramatically increase the energy harvesting efficiency.

  2. Roles of the Excitation in Harvesting Energy from Vibrations

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hui; Ma, Tianwei

    2015-01-01

    The study investigated the role of excitation in energy harvesting applications. While the energy ultimately comes from the excitation, it was shown that the excitation may not always behave as a source. When the device characteristics do not perfectly match the excitation, the excitation alternately behaves as a source and a sink. The extent to which the excitation behaves as a sink determines the energy harvesting efficiency. Such contradictory roles were shown to be dictated by a generalized phase defined as the instantaneous phase angle between the velocity of the device and the excitation. An inductive prototype device with a diamagnetically levitated seismic mass was proposed to take advantage of the well established phase changing mechanism of vibro-impact to achieve a broader device bandwidth. Results suggest that the vibro-impact can generate an instantaneous, significant phase shift in response velocity that switches the role of the excitation. If introduced properly outside the resonance zone it could dramatically increase the energy harvesting efficiency. PMID:26496183

  3. Triplet Energy Transport in Platinum-Acetylide Light Harvesting Arrays.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhuo; Hsu, Hsien-Yi; Arca, Mert; Schanze, Kirk S

    2015-06-18

    Light harvesting and triplet energy transport is investigated in chromophore-functionalized polystyrene polymers featuring light harvesting and energy acceptor chromophores (traps) at varying loading. The series of precision polymers was constructed via reversible addition-fragmentation transfer polymerization and functionalized with platinum acetylide triplet chromophores by using an azide-alkyne "click" reaction. The polymers have narrow polydispersity and degree of polymerization ∼60. The chromophores have the general structure, trans-[-R-C6H4-C≡C-Pt(PBu3)2-C≡C-Ar], where R is the attachment point to the polystyrene backbone and Ar is either -C6H4-C≡C-Ph or -pyrenyl (PE2-Pt and Py-Pt, respectively, with triplet energies of 2.35 and 1.88 eV). The polychromophores contain mainly the high-energy PE2-Pt units (light absorber and energy donor), with randomly distributed Py-Pt units (3-20% loading, energy acceptor). Photophysical methods are used to study the dynamics and efficiency of energy transport from the PE2-Pt to Py-Pt units in the polychromophores. The energy transfer efficiency is >90% for copolymers that contain 5% of the Py-Pt acceptor units. Time-resolved phosphorescence measurements combined with Monte Carlo exciton dynamics simulations suggest that the mechanism of exciton transport is exchange energy transfer hopping between PE2-Pt units.

  4. Solar energy trap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brantley, L. W., Jr. (Inventor)

    1976-01-01

    An apparatus is described for trapping solar energy for heating a fluid that could be subsequently used in turbines and similar devices. The apparatus includes an elongated vertical light pipe having an open end through which the visible spectrum of electromagnetic radiation from the sun passes to strike a tubular absorber. The light pipe has a coated interior surface of a low absorptivity and a high reflectivity at the visible wavelengths and a high absorptivity/emissivity ratio at infrared wavelengths. The tubular absorber has a coating on the surface for absorbing visible wavelengths to heat the fluid passing through. Infrared wave lengths are radiated from the tubular absorber back into the light pipe for heating fluid passing through a tubular coil wound around it.

  5. National Energy Act statutes and solar energy

    SciTech Connect

    Howard, J.

    1980-02-01

    The National Energy Act of 1978 contains many provisions that will significantly affect solar technology commercialization and solar energy users. Four of the five statutes that comprise the National Energy Act deserve close attention. The National Energy Conservation Policy Act will promote residential solar installations. The Energy Tax Act will accelerate both residential and commercial solar system applications. The Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act promotes efficient use of utility resources as well as decentralized power production. And, the Power Plan and Industrial Fuel Use Act places severe restrictions on future burning of petroleum and natural gas, which should lead some operators to build or convert to solar energy systems. Each of the preceding acts are considered in separate sections of this report. Federal regulations issued pursuant to the various provisions are also identified and discussed, and some of the problems with the provisions and regulations are noted.

  6. Three-terminal energy harvester with coupled quantum dots.

    PubMed

    Thierschmann, Holger; Sánchez, Rafael; Sothmann, Björn; Arnold, Fabian; Heyn, Christian; Hansen, Wolfgang; Buhmann, Hartmut; Molenkamp, Laurens W

    2015-10-01

    Rectification of thermal fluctuations in mesoscopic conductors is the key idea behind recent attempts to build nanoscale thermoelectric energy harvesters to convert heat into useful electric power. So far, most concepts have made use of the Seebeck effect in a two-terminal geometry, where heat and charge are both carried by the same particles. Here, we experimentally demonstrate the working principle of a new kind of energy harvester, proposed recently, using two capacitively coupled quantum dots. We show that, due to the novel three-terminal design of our device, which spatially separates the heat reservoir from the conductor circuit, the directions of charge and heat flow become decoupled. This enables us to manipulate the direction of the generated charge current by means of external gate voltages while leaving the direction of heat flow unaffected. Our results pave the way for a new generation of multi-terminal nanoscale heat engines. PMID:26280407

  7. Stacked and folded piezoelectrets for vibration-based energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sessler, G. M.; Pondrom, P.; Zhang, X.

    2016-08-01

    Vibration-based energy harvesting with piezoelectrets can be significantly improved by using multiple layers of these materials. In particular, folding or stacking of piezoelectrets or a combination of these methods results in increased power output of the energy harvesters. The possibilities of these procedures are explored, together with the effect of seismic mass, resonance frequency, and terminating resistance. It is found that with seismic masses of about 20 g and using radiation-crosslinked polypropylene (IXPP) as a piezoelectret, power outputs of up to 80 µW can be achieved for an acceleration of 1 g. Expected dependencies of generated power on frequency, folding and stacking parameters, in particular number of layers, and on seismic mass, are confirmed.

  8. Piezoelectric energy harvester having planform-tapered interdigitated beams

    DOEpatents

    Kellogg, Rick A.; Sumali, Hartono

    2011-05-24

    Embodiments of energy harvesters have a plurality of piezoelectric planform-tapered, interdigitated cantilevered beams anchored to a common frame. The plurality of beams can be arranged as two or more sets of beams with each set sharing a common sense mass affixed to their free ends. Each set thus defined being capable of motion independent of any other set of beams. Each beam can comprise a unimorph or bimorph piezoelectric configuration bonded to a conductive or non-conductive supporting layer and provided with electrical contacts to the active piezoelectric elements for collecting strain induced charge (i.e. energy). The beams are planform tapered along the entirety or a portion of their length thereby increasing the effective stress level and power output of each piezoelectric element, and are interdigitated by sets to increase the power output per unit volume of a harvester thus produced.

  9. Three-terminal energy harvester with coupled quantum dots.

    PubMed

    Thierschmann, Holger; Sánchez, Rafael; Sothmann, Björn; Arnold, Fabian; Heyn, Christian; Hansen, Wolfgang; Buhmann, Hartmut; Molenkamp, Laurens W

    2015-10-01

    Rectification of thermal fluctuations in mesoscopic conductors is the key idea behind recent attempts to build nanoscale thermoelectric energy harvesters to convert heat into useful electric power. So far, most concepts have made use of the Seebeck effect in a two-terminal geometry, where heat and charge are both carried by the same particles. Here, we experimentally demonstrate the working principle of a new kind of energy harvester, proposed recently, using two capacitively coupled quantum dots. We show that, due to the novel three-terminal design of our device, which spatially separates the heat reservoir from the conductor circuit, the directions of charge and heat flow become decoupled. This enables us to manipulate the direction of the generated charge current by means of external gate voltages while leaving the direction of heat flow unaffected. Our results pave the way for a new generation of multi-terminal nanoscale heat engines.

  10. Energy harvesting using arrays of granular chains and solid rods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Kaiyuan; Rizzo, Piervincenzo

    2015-06-01

    In the last two decades, it has been demonstrated that highly nonlinear solitary waves (HNSWs) can be used in many physics and engineering applications, such as acoustic lenses, impurity detectors, and nondestructive testing. HNSWs are compact nondispersive waves that propagate in nonlinear media such as 1D chains of spherical particles. In this paper, we propose to couple an array of granular particles that support the propagation of HNSWs, to a wafer-type lead zirconate titanate (PZT) transducer in order to harvest the energy of an object tapping the array. This latter is in contact with a polycarbonate block where the nonlinear waves become linear and coalesce at a designed focal point. Here, the PZT converts the acoustic energy into electricity that powers a load resistor. The performance of this harvester is compared to a similar system where the chains are replaced by solid rods. The results demonstrate that the granular system generates more electricity.

  11. Constructive interference in arrays of energy harvesters in fluid flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azadeh Ranjbar, Vahid; Goushcha, Oleg; Elvin, Niell; Andreopoulos, Yiannis

    2014-11-01

    In the present work we demonstrate some unique opportunities which exist to increase the power harvested with fluidic piezoelectric generators by almost two orders of magnitude higher than existing methods by exploiting dynamic non-linearities and deploying multi-element arrays in carefully selected positions in a fluid flow field. These ac-coupled generators convert fluid kinetic energy, which otherwise would be wasted, into electrical energy. The available power in a flowing fluid is proportional to the cube of its velocity and if it is properly harvested can be used for continuously powering very small electronic devices or can be rectified and stored for intermittent use. Additional experimental work has shown that non-linear arrays of such energy harvesters can produce high output voltages in a very broadband range of frequencies. In our work, we investigate the effect of geometric parameters such as spatial arrangement and the mutual interference between the elements of a non-linear array on their overall performance and efficiency characteristics. Analytical tools based on the non-linear van der Pol oscillator have been also developed and verified with experimental data. Work supported by National Science Foundation under Grant No. CBET #1033117.

  12. Toward efficient aeroelastic energy harvesting through limit cycle shaping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirschmeier, Benjamin; Bryant, Matthew

    2016-04-01

    Increasing demand to harvest energy from renewable resources has caused significant research interest in unsteady aerodynamic and hydrodynamic phenomena. Apart from the traditional horizontal axis wind turbines, there has been significant growth in the study of bio-inspired oscillating wings for energy harvesting. These systems are being built to harvest electricity for wireless devices, as well as for large scale mega-watt power generation. Such systems can be driven by aeroelastic flutter phenomena which, beyond a critical wind speed, will cause the system to enter into limitcycle oscillations. When the airfoil enters large amplitude, high frequency motion, leading and trailing edge vortices form and, when properly synchronized with the airfoil kinematics, enhance the energy extraction efficiency of the device. A reduced order dynamic stall model is employed on a nonlinear aeroelastic structural model to investigate whether the parameters of a fully passive aeroelastic device can be tuned to produce limit cycle oscillations at desired kinematics. This process is done through an optimization technique to find the necessary structural parameters to achieve desired structural forces and moments corresponding to a target limit cycle. Structural nonlinearities are explored to determine the essential nonlinearities such that the system's limit cycle closely matches the desired kinematic trajectory. The results from this process demonstrate that it is possible to tune system parameters such that a desired limit cycle trajectory can be achieved. The simulations also demonstrate that the high efficiencies predicted by previous computational aerodynamics studies can be achieved in fully passive aeroelastic devices.

  13. Energy harvesting from vibration with cross-linked polypropylene piezoelectrets

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Xiaoqing; Wu, Liming; Sessler, Gerhard M.

    2015-07-15

    Piezoelectret films are prepared by modification of the microstructure of polypropylene foam sheets cross-linked by electronic irradiation (IXPP), followed by proper corona charging. Young’s modulus, relative permittivity, and electromechanical coupling coefficient of the fabricated films, determined by dielectric resonance spectra, are about 0.7 MPa, 1.6, and 0.08, respectively. Dynamic piezoelectric d{sub 33} coefficients up to 650 pC/N at 200 Hz are achieved. The figure of merit (FOM, d{sub 33} ⋅ g{sub 33}) for a more typical d{sub 33} value of 400 pC/N is about 11.2 GPa{sup −1}. Vibration-based energy harvesting with one-layer and two-layer stacks of these films is investigated at various frequencies and load resistances. At an optimum load resistance of 9 MΩ and a resonance frequency of 800 Hz, a maximum output power of 120 μW, referred to the acceleration g due to gravity, is obtained for an energy harvester consisting of a one-layer IXPP film with an area of 3.14 cm{sup 2} and a seismic mass of 33.7 g. The output power can be further improved by using two-layer stacks of IXPP films in electric series. IXPP energy harvesters could be used to energize low-power electronic devices, such as wireless sensors and LED lights.

  14. A novel inertial energy harvester using magnetic shape memory alloy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Askari Farsangi, Mohammad Amin; Sayyaadi, Hassan; Zakerzadeh, Mohammad Reza

    2016-10-01

    This paper studies the output voltage from a novel inertial energy harvester using magnetic shape memory alloys (MSMAs). The MSMA elements are attached to the root of a cantilever beam by means of two steps. In order to get electrical voltage, two coils are wound around the MSMAs and a shock load is applied to a tip mass at the end of the beam to have vibration in it. The beam vibration causes strain in the MSMAs along their longitudinal directions and as a result the magnetic flux alters in the coils. The change of magnetic flux in the surrounding coil produces an AC voltage. In order to predict the output voltage, the nonlinear governing equations of beam motion based on Euler-Bernoulli model and von Kármán theory are derived. A thermodynamics-based constitutive model is used to predict the nonlinear strain and magnetization response of the MSMAs. Also, the induced voltage during martensite variant reorientation in MSMAs is investigated with the help of Faraday’s law of induction. Finally, the effect of different parameters including bias magnetic field, pre-strain and number of MSMA elements are investigated in details. The results show that this novel energy harvester has the capability of using as an alternative to the current piezoelectric and magnetostrictive ones for harvesting energy from ambient vibration.

  15. Human Motion Energy Harvester for Biometric Data Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffmann, D.; Folkmer, B.; Manoli, Y.

    2013-12-01

    In this paper we present an energy autonomous sensor system fully integrated into the heel of a shoe for biometric data monitoring. For powering the wireless sensor system a pulse-driven energy harvester was developed, which uses the acceleration-impulses from heel-strike during walking. In preparation of the device development acceleration measurements were carried out. The pulse-driven energy harvester is based on the electromagnetic conversion principle and incorporates a 4×4 coil matrix. A beam fixed at both ends is used for suspending the magnetic circuit. The geometric parameters of coil and magnetic circuit were optimized for maximum power output. For an idealized acceleration pulse with a width of 5 ms and a height of 200 m/s2 an average power output of 0.7 mW was generated using a step frequency of 1 Hz. The functionality of the self-sustained sensor system is demonstrated by measuring the temperature and step-frequency of a walking person and transmitting the data to a base station. We also found that the implementation of the suspension can have a significant impact on the harvester performance reducing the power output.

  16. Energy harvesting from vibration with cross-linked polypropylene piezoelectrets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiaoqing; Wu, Liming; Sessler, Gerhard M.

    2015-07-01

    Piezoelectret films are prepared by modification of the microstructure of polypropylene foam sheets cross-linked by electronic irradiation (IXPP), followed by proper corona charging. Young's modulus, relative permittivity, and electromechanical coupling coefficient of the fabricated films, determined by dielectric resonance spectra, are about 0.7 MPa, 1.6, and 0.08, respectively. Dynamic piezoelectric d33 coefficients up to 650 pC/N at 200 Hz are achieved. The figure of merit (FOM, d33 ṡ g33) for a more typical d33 value of 400 pC/N is about 11.2 GPa-1. Vibration-based energy harvesting with one-layer and two-layer stacks of these films is investigated at various frequencies and load resistances. At an optimum load resistance of 9 MΩ and a resonance frequency of 800 Hz, a maximum output power of 120 μW, referred to the acceleration g due to gravity, is obtained for an energy harvester consisting of a one-layer IXPP film with an area of 3.14 cm2 and a seismic mass of 33.7 g. The output power can be further improved by using two-layer stacks of IXPP films in electric series. IXPP energy harvesters could be used to energize low-power electronic devices, such as wireless sensors and LED lights.

  17. Piezoelectric compliant mechanism energy harvesters under large base excitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Xiaokun; Trolier-McKinstry, Susan; Rahn, Christopher D.

    2016-09-01

    A piezoelectric compliant mechanism (PCM) energy harvester is designed, modeled, and analyzed that consists of a polyvinylidene diflouoride, PVDF unimorph clamped at its base and attached to a compliant mechanism at its tip. The compliant hinge stiffness is carefully tuned to approach a low frequency first mode with an efficient (nearly quadratic) shape that provides a uniform strain distribution. A nonlinear model of the PCM energy harvester under large base excitation is derived to determine the maximum power that can be generated by the device. Experiments with a fabricated PCM energy harvester prototype show that the compliant mechanism introduces a stiffening effect and a much wider bandwidth than a benchmark proof mass cantilever design. The PCM bridge structure self-limits the displacement and maximum strain at large excitations compared with the proof mass cantilever, improving the device robustness. The PCM outperforms the cantilever in both average power and power-strain sensitivity at high accelerations due to the PCM axial stretching effect and its more uniform strain distribution.

  18. Extension of Light-Harvesting Ability of Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting Complex 2 (LH2) through Ultrafast Energy Transfer from Covalently Attached Artificial Chromophores.

    PubMed

    Yoneda, Yusuke; Noji, Tomoyasu; Katayama, Tetsuro; Mizutani, Naoto; Komori, Daisuke; Nango, Mamoru; Miyasaka, Hiroshi; Itoh, Shigeru; Nagasawa, Yutaka; Dewa, Takehisa

    2015-10-14

    Introducing appropriate artificial components into natural biological systems could enrich the original functionality. To expand the available wavelength range of photosynthetic bacterial light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2 from Rhodopseudomonas acidophila 10050), artificial fluorescent dye (Alexa Fluor 647: A647) was covalently attached to N- and C-terminal Lys residues in LH2 α-polypeptides with a molar ratio of A647/LH2 ≃ 9/1. Fluorescence and transient absorption spectroscopies revealed that intracomplex energy transfer from A647 to intrinsic chromophores of LH2 (B850) occurs in a multiexponential manner, with time constants varying from 440 fs to 23 ps through direct and B800-mediated indirect pathways. Kinetic analyses suggested that B800 chromophores mediate faster energy transfer, and the mechanism was interpretable in terms of Förster theory. This study demonstrates that a simple attachment of external chromophores with a flexible linkage can enhance the light harvesting activity of LH2 without affecting inherent functions of energy transfer, and can achieve energy transfer in the subpicosecond range. Addition of external chromophores, thus, represents a useful methodology for construction of advanced hybrid light-harvesting systems that afford solar energy in the broad spectrum.

  19. Low power interface IC's for electrostatic energy harvesting applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kempitiya, Asantha

    The application of wireless distributed micro-sensor systems ranges from equipment diagnostic and control to real time structural and biomedical monitoring. A major obstacle in developing autonomous micro-sensor networks is the need for local electric power supply, since using a battery is often not a viable solution. This void has sparked significant interest in micro-scale power generators based on electrostatic, piezoelectric and electromagnetic energy conversion that can scavenge ambient energy from the environment. In comparison to existing energy harvesting techniques, electrostatic-based power generation is attractive as it can be integrated using mainstream silicon technologies while providing higher power densities through miniaturization. However the power output of reported electrostatic micro-generators to date does not meet the communication and computation requirements of wireless sensor nodes. The objective of this thesis is to investigate novel CMOS-based energy harvesting circuit (EHC) architectures to increase the level of harvested mechanical energy in electrostatic converters. The electronic circuits that facilitate mechanical to electrical energy conversion employing variable capacitors can either have synchronous or asynchronous architectures. The later does not require synchronization of electrical events with mechanical motion, which eliminates difficulties in gate clocking and the power consumption associated with complex control circuitry. However, the implementation of the EHC with the converter can be detrimental to system performance when done without concurrent optimization of both elements, an aspect mainly overlooked in the literature. System level analysis is performed to show that there is an optimum value for either the storage capacitor or cycle number for maximum scavenging of ambient energy. The analysis also shows that maximum power is extracted when the system approaches synchronous operation. However, there is a region of

  20. Buckled graphene for efficient energy harvest, storage and conversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Jin-Wu

    2016-10-01

    Buckling is one of the most common phenomena in atom-thick layered structures like graphene. While the buckling phenomenon usually causes disaster for most nanodevices, we illustrate one positive application of buckled graphene for energy harvest, storage and conversion. More specifically, we perform molecular dynamical simulations to show that buckled graphene can be used to collect wasted mechanical energy and store the energy in the form of internal knotting potential. Through strain engineering, the knotting potential can be converted into useful kinetic (thermal) energy that is highly concentrated at the free edges of buckled graphene. The present study demonstrates potential applications of buckled graphene for converting dispersed wasted mechanical energy into concentrated useful kinetic (thermal) energy.

  1. Buckled graphene for efficient energy harvest, storage and conversion.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Jin-Wu

    2016-10-01

    Buckling is one of the most common phenomena in atom-thick layered structures like graphene. While the buckling phenomenon usually causes disaster for most nanodevices, we illustrate one positive application of buckled graphene for energy harvest, storage and conversion. More specifically, we perform molecular dynamical simulations to show that buckled graphene can be used to collect wasted mechanical energy and store the energy in the form of internal knotting potential. Through strain engineering, the knotting potential can be converted into useful kinetic (thermal) energy that is highly concentrated at the free edges of buckled graphene. The present study demonstrates potential applications of buckled graphene for converting dispersed wasted mechanical energy into concentrated useful kinetic (thermal) energy. PMID:27581194

  2. Buckled graphene for efficient energy harvest, storage and conversion.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Jin-Wu

    2016-10-01

    Buckling is one of the most common phenomena in atom-thick layered structures like graphene. While the buckling phenomenon usually causes disaster for most nanodevices, we illustrate one positive application of buckled graphene for energy harvest, storage and conversion. More specifically, we perform molecular dynamical simulations to show that buckled graphene can be used to collect wasted mechanical energy and store the energy in the form of internal knotting potential. Through strain engineering, the knotting potential can be converted into useful kinetic (thermal) energy that is highly concentrated at the free edges of buckled graphene. The present study demonstrates potential applications of buckled graphene for converting dispersed wasted mechanical energy into concentrated useful kinetic (thermal) energy.

  3. Effect of electrode configurations on piezoelectric vibration energy harvesting performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Miso; Dugundji, John; Wardle, Brian L.

    2015-04-01

    Piezoelectric vibration energy harvesting is an attractive technology for self-powered wireless sensor networks because of the potential to deliver power to the sensor nodes from mechanical vibration sources in the surrounding medium. Systematic device designs are required in order to increase performance along with materials development of high piezoelectric coefficients and design of circuits with high power transfer efficiency. In this work, we present refined structural and electrical modeling of interdigitated electrodes (IDEs) for piezoelectric vibration energy harvesting, followed by parametric case studies on MEMS devices. Differences in geometric parameters including the size of the electrode and the number of IDE fingers for given device dimensions lead to substantial changes in harvesting performance such as capacitance, system coupling, voltage and power. When compared with parallel plate electrodes, use of IDEs results in much higher voltage generation by a factor of ten times while similar power levels are observed for both {3-1} and {3-3} configurations at optimal electrical loading conditions.

  4. Magneto-Thermo-Triboelectric Generator (MTTG) for thermal energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jang, Kwang Yeop; Lee, James; Lee, Dong-Gun

    2016-04-01

    We present a novel thermal energy harvesting system using triboelectric effect. Recently, there has been intensive research efforts on energy harvesting using triboelectric effect, which can produce surprising amount of electric power (when compared to piezoelectric materials) by rubbing or touching (i.e, electric charge by contact and separation) two different materials together. Numerous studies have shown the possibility as an attractive alternative with good transparency, flexibility and low cost abilities for its use in wearable device and smart phone applications markets. However, its application has been limited to only vibration source, which can produce sustained oscillation with maintaining contact and separation states repeatedly for triboelectric effect. Thus, there has been no attempt toward thermal energy source. The proposed approach can convert thermal energy into electricity by pairing triboelectric effect and active ferromagnetic materials The objective of the research is to develop a new manufacturing process of design, fabrication, and testing of a Magneto-Thermo-Triboelectric Generator (MTTG). The results obtained from the approach show that MTTG devices have a feasible power energy conversion capability from thermal energy sources. The tunable design of the device is such that it has efficient thermal capture over a wide range of operation temperature in waste heat.

  5. Graphene rectenna for efficient energy harvesting at terahertz frequencies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dragoman, Mircea; Aldrigo, Martino

    2016-09-01

    In this paper, we propose a graphene rectenna that encompasses two distinct functions in a single device, namely, antenna and rectifier, which till now were two separate components. In this way, the rectenna realizes an efficient energy harvesting technique due to the absence of impedance mismatch between antenna and diode. In particular, we have obtained a maximum conversion efficiency of 58.43% at 897 GHz for the graphene rectenna on n-doped GaAs, which is a very good value, close to the performance of an RF harvesting system. A comparison with a classical metallic antenna with an HfO2-based metal-insulator-metal diode is also provided.

  6. Micro rectennas: Brownian ratchets for thermal-energy harvesting

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Y.; Powell, C. V.; Balocco, C.; Song, A. M.

    2014-12-22

    We experimentally demonstrated the operation of a rectenna for harvesting thermal (blackbody) radiation and converting it into dc electric power. The device integrates an ultrafast rectifier, the self-switching nanodiode, with a wideband log-periodic spiral microantenna. The radiation from the thermal source drives the rectenna out of thermal equilibrium, permitting the rectification of the excess thermal fluctuations from the antenna. The power conversion efficiency increases with the source temperatures up to 0.02% at 973 K. The low efficiency is attributed mainly to the impedance mismatch between antenna and rectifier, and partially to the large field of view of the antenna. Our device not only opens a potential solution for harvesting thermal energy but also provides a platform for experimenting with Brownian ratchets.

  7. Complementary split ring resonator arrays for electromagnetic energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alavikia, Babak; Almoneef, Thamer S.; Ramahi, Omar M.

    2015-07-01

    This work demonstrates the viability of Ground-backed Complementary Split-Ring Resonator (G-CSRR) arrays with significant power conversion efficiency and bandwidth enhancement in comparison to the technology used in current electromagnetic energy harvesting systems. Through numerical full-wave analysis, we demonstrated correlation between either the resonance frequency or the input impedance of G-CSRR cells with the periodicity of the array. A comparative study of power harvesting efficiency through numerical analysis and laboratory measurement was presented where an array of G-CSRRs is compared to an array of microstrip patch antennas. We demonstrated that a G-CSRR array yields power conversion efficiency of 92%, which represents a significant improvement in comparison to the single G-CSRR reported in our earlier work.

  8. Modeling of Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Using Cymbal Transducers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Hyeoungwoo; Priya, Shashank; Uchino, Kenji

    2006-07-01

    This study reports the experimental and analytical results on a piezoelectric cymbal with 29 mm diameter and 1 mm thickness operating under force of 70 N in the frequency range of 10-200 Hz. It was found that the generated power increases with the frequency and around 100 mW can be harvested at frequency of 200 Hz across a 200 kΩ resistor. Power generation from the cymbal transducer was modeled by using the theory developed for the Belleville spring. The calculated results were found to be in good agreement with the experimental results. The results indicate that the metal-ceramic composite transducer “CYMBAL” is the most promising structure for harvesting the electric energy from automobile engine vibrations. The metal cap enhances the endurance of the ceramic to sustain high loads along with stress amplification.

  9. Acoustic metamaterials capable of both sound insulation and energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Junfei; Zhou, Xiaoming; Huang, Guoliang; Hu, Gengkai

    2016-04-01

    Membrane-type acoustic metamaterials are well known for low-frequency sound insulation. In this work, by introducing a flexible piezoelectric patch, we propose sound-insulation metamaterials with the ability of energy harvesting from sound waves. The dual functionality of the metamaterial device has been verified by experimental results, which show an over 20 dB sound transmission loss and a maximum energy conversion efficiency up to 15.3% simultaneously. This novel property makes the metamaterial device more suitable for noise control applications.

  10. A Monolithic Oxide-Based Transversal Thermoelectric Energy Harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teichert, S.; Bochmann, A.; Reimann, T.; Schulz, T.; Dreßler, C.; Udich, S.; Töpfer, J.

    2016-03-01

    We report the fabrication and properties of a monolithic transversal thermoelectric energy harvester based on the combination of a thermoelectric oxide and a metal. The fabrication of the device is done with a ceramic multilayer technology using printing and co-firing processes. Five transversal devices were combined to a meander-like thermoelectric generator. Electrical measurements and finite element calculations were performed to characterize the resulting thermoelectric generator. A maximum experimental electrical power output of 30.2 mW at a temperature difference of {Δ }T = 208 K was found. The prepared monolithic thermoelectric generator provides at {Δ }T = 35 K sufficient energy to drive a simple electronic sensor application.

  11. High flux solar energy transformation

    DOEpatents

    Winston, R.; Gleckman, P.L.; O'Gallagher, J.J.

    1991-04-09

    Disclosed are multi-stage systems for high flux transformation of solar energy allowing for uniform solar intensification by a factor of 60,000 suns or more. Preferred systems employ a focusing mirror as a primary concentrative device and a non-imaging concentrator as a secondary concentrative device with concentrative capacities of primary and secondary stages selected to provide for net solar flux intensification of greater than 2000 over 95 percent of the concentration area. Systems of the invention are readily applied as energy sources for laser pumping and in other photothermal energy utilization processes. 7 figures.

  12. High flux solar energy transformation

    DOEpatents

    Winston, Roland; Gleckman, Philip L.; O'Gallagher, Joseph J.

    1991-04-09

    Disclosed are multi-stage systems for high flux transformation of solar energy allowing for uniform solar intensification by a factor of 60,000 suns or more. Preferred systems employ a focusing mirror as a primary concentrative device and a non-imaging concentrator as a secondary concentrative device with concentrative capacities of primary and secondary stages selected to provide for net solar flux intensification of greater than 2000 over 95 percent of the concentration area. Systems of the invention are readily applied as energy sources for laser pumping and in other photothermal energy utilization processes.

  13. Optical and piezoelectric properties of p-type ZnO nanowires on transparent flexible substrate for energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Guocheng; Tam, Man Chun; Hu, Lilei; EI-Rayes, Karim; Guo, Qiuquan; Yang, Jun; Mrad, Nezih; Ban, Dayan

    2014-09-01

    High quality, controlled-structure nanowires (NWs), grown on a transparent flexible substrate, have attracted great interest as a mean of harvesting solar and mechanical energy. Clarifying their optical and piezoelectric properties is essential for this application. In this paper, vertically aligned lithium (Li) doped p-type ZnO NWs were grown, on a micro-patterned transparent flexible polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) substrate, by electrochemical deposition at 88 °C. The substrate was coated with aluminum-doped ZnO (AZO) thin layer, which served as a good seed layer and a transparent conductive oxide layer. Varying the seed layer thickness gave control of the individual NWs' diameter, density and alignment. The effect of doping on the optical band-gap, crystalline quality and Schottky barrier were investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) spectroscopy and piezoelectric characterization. The piezoelectric polarization induced piezo-potential in strained ZnO NWs can drive the flow of electrons without an applied electric bias, thus can be used to harvest mechanical energy and convert it into electricity. To prove this concept, flexible piezoelectric energy harvesters based on an array of ZnO NWs were fabricated. Results show that the patterned p-type NW-based energy harvester produces 26-fold output voltage and 19-fold current compared to the conventional un-doped ZnO NW energy harvester from the same acceleration input.

  14. Hybrid energy harvesting systems, using piezoelectric elements and dielectric polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornogolub, Alexandru; Cottinet, Pierre-Jean; Petit, Lionel

    2016-09-01

    Interest in energy harvesting applications has increased a lot during recent years. This is especially true for systems using electroactive materials like dielectric polymers or piezoelectric materials. Unfortunately, these materials despite multiple advantages, present some important drawbacks. For example, many dielectric polymers demonstrated high energy densities; they are cheap, easy to process and can be easily integrated in many different structures. But at the same time, dielectric polymer generators require an external energy supply which could greatly compromise their autonomy. Piezoelectric systems, on the other hand, are completely autonomous and can be easily miniaturized. However, most common piezoelectric materials present a high rigidity and are brittle by nature and therefore their integration could be difficult. This paper investigates the possibility of using hybrid systems combining piezoelectric elements and dielectric polymers for mechanical energy harvesting applications and it is focused mainly on the problem of electrical energy transfer. Our objective is to show that such systems can be interesting and that it is possible to benefit from the advantages of both materials. For this, different configurations were considered and the problem of their optimization was addressed. The experimental work enabled us to prove the concept and identify the main practical limitations.

  15. The Geography of Solar Energy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LaHart, David E.; Allen, Rodney F.

    1984-01-01

    After learning about two promising techniques for generating electricity--photovoltaic cells and wind energy conversion systems--secondary students analyze two maps of the United States showing solar radiation and available wind power to determine which U.S. regions have potential for these solar electric systems. (RM)

  16. Theoretical study of aromatic-antiaromatic pairs as material in organic solar cells of double light harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez, Iván; Schott, Eduardo; Chávez, Ivonne; Manríquez, Juan Manuel; Zarate, Ximena

    2016-08-01

    Molecular light harvesting components of organic solar cells containing antiaromatic and aromatic molecules as organic semiconductors were studied. We found that antiaromatic molecules with indacene core can act as acceptors looking for new options to assemble donor/acceptor interfaces. This is supported by their properties such as molecular orbitals energies, rigid fused core that could promote π-π intermolecular interactions imparting ordered nanostructures, that let high charge mobility thanks to their properly low reorganization energy and the optimum energy offsets of the donor/acceptor interfaces. It was found that pentacene might be an excellent donor and the benzo[g]benz[6,7]indeno[1,2-b]fluorene could act as an acceptor.

  17. SIVEH: Numerical Computing Simulation of Wireless Energy-Harvesting Sensor Nodes

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Antonio; Blanc, Sara; Climent, Salvador; Yuste, Pedro; Ors, Rafael

    2013-01-01

    The paper presents a numerical energy harvesting model for sensor nodes, SIVEH (Simulator I–V for EH), based on I–V hardware tracking. I–V tracking is demonstrated to be more accurate than traditional energy modeling techniques when some of the components present different power dissipation at either different operating voltages or drawn currents. SIVEH numerical computing allows fast simulation of long periods of time—days, weeks, months or years—using real solar radiation curves. Moreover, SIVEH modeling has been enhanced with sleep time rate dynamic adjustment, while seeking energy-neutral operation. This paper presents the model description, a functional verification and a critical comparison with the classic energy approach. PMID:24008287

  18. Energy harvesting performance of piezoelectric ceramic and polymer nanowires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crossley, Sam; Kar-Narayan, Sohini

    2015-08-01

    Energy harvesting from ubiquitous ambient vibrations is attractive for autonomous small-power applications and thus considerable research is focused on piezoelectric materials as they permit direct inter-conversion of mechanical and electrical energy. Nanogenerators (NGs) based on piezoelectric nanowires are particularly attractive due to their sensitivity to small-scale vibrations and may possess superior mechanical-to-electrical conversion efficiency when compared to bulk or thin-film devices of the same material. However, candidate piezoelectric nanowires have hitherto been predominantly analyzed in terms of NG output (i.e. output voltage, output current and output power density). Surprisingly, the corresponding dynamical properties of the NG, including details of how the nanowires are mechanically driven and its impact on performance, have been largely neglected. Here we investigate all realizable NG driving contexts separately involving inertial displacement, applied stress T and applied strain S, highlighting the effect of driving mechanism and frequency on NG performance in each case. We argue that, in the majority of cases, the intrinsic high resonance frequencies of piezoelectric nanowires (∼tens of MHz) present no barrier to high levels of NG performance even at frequencies far below resonance (<1 kHz) typically characteristic of ambient vibrations. In this context, we introduce vibrational energy harvesting (VEH) coefficients ηS and ηT, based on intrinsic materials properties, for comparing piezoelectric NG performance under strain-driven and stress-driven conditions respectively. These figures of merit permit, for the first time, a general comparison of piezoelectric nanowires for NG applications that takes into account the nature of the mechanical excitation. We thus investigate the energy harvesting performance of prototypical piezoelectric ceramic and polymer nanowires. We find that even though ceramic and polymer nanowires have been found, in

  19. Energy harvesting performance of piezoelectric ceramic and polymer nanowires.

    PubMed

    Crossley, Sam; Kar-Narayan, Sohini

    2015-08-28

    Energy harvesting from ubiquitous ambient vibrations is attractive for autonomous small-power applications and thus considerable research is focused on piezoelectric materials as they permit direct inter-conversion of mechanical and electrical energy. Nanogenerators (NGs) based on piezoelectric nanowires are particularly attractive due to their sensitivity to small-scale vibrations and may possess superior mechanical-to-electrical conversion efficiency when compared to bulk or thin-film devices of the same material. However, candidate piezoelectric nanowires have hitherto been predominantly analyzed in terms of NG output (i.e. output voltage, output current and output power density). Surprisingly, the corresponding dynamical properties of the NG, including details of how the nanowires are mechanically driven and its impact on performance, have been largely neglected. Here we investigate all realizable NG driving contexts separately involving inertial displacement, applied stress T and applied strain S, highlighting the effect of driving mechanism and frequency on NG performance in each case. We argue that, in the majority of cases, the intrinsic high resonance frequencies of piezoelectric nanowires (∼tens of MHz) present no barrier to high levels of NG performance even at frequencies far below resonance (<1 kHz) typically characteristic of ambient vibrations. In this context, we introduce vibrational energy harvesting (VEH) coefficients ηS and ηT, based on intrinsic materials properties, for comparing piezoelectric NG performance under strain-driven and stress-driven conditions respectively. These figures of merit permit, for the first time, a general comparison of piezoelectric nanowires for NG applications that takes into account the nature of the mechanical excitation. We thus investigate the energy harvesting performance of prototypical piezoelectric ceramic and polymer nanowires. We find that even though ceramic and polymer nanowires have been found, in

  20. The Energy Impacts of Solar Heating.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whipple, Chris

    1980-01-01

    The energy required to build and install solar space- and water-heating equipment is compared to the energy saved under two solar growth paths corresponding to high and low rates of solar technology implementation. (Author/RE)

  1. Solar '80s: A Teacher's Handbook for Solar Energy Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LaHart, David E.

    This guide is intended to assist the teacher in exploring energy issues and the technology of solar energy conversion and associated technologies. Sections of the guide include: (1) Rationale; (2) Technology Overview; (3) Sun Day Suggestions for School; (4) Backyard Solar Water Heater; (5) Solar Tea; (6) Biogas; (7) Solar Cells; (8) Economics; (9)…

  2. Efficiency enhancement of a cantilever-based vibration energy harvester.

    PubMed

    Kubba, Ali E; Jiang, Kyle

    2013-01-01

    Extracting energy from ambient vibration to power wireless sensor nodes has been an attractive area of research, particularly in the automotive monitoring field. This article reports the design, analysis and testing of a vibration energy harvesting device based on a miniature asymmetric air-spaced cantilever. The developed design offers high power density, and delivers electric power that is sufficient to support most wireless sensor nodes for structural health monitoring (SHM) applications. The optimized design underwent three evolutionary steps, starting from a simple cantilever design, going through an air-spaced cantilever, and ending up with an optimized air-spaced geometry with boosted power density level. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was used as an initial tool to compare the three geometries' stiffness (K), output open-circuit voltage (V(ave)), and average normal strain in the piezoelectric transducer (ε(ave)) that directly affect its output voltage. Experimental tests were also carried out in order to examine the energy harvesting level in each of the three designs. The experimental results show how to boost the power output level in a thin air-spaced cantilever beam for energy within the same space envelope. The developed thin air-spaced cantilever (8.37 cm3), has a maximum power output of 2.05 mW (H = 29.29 μJ/cycle). PMID:24366177

  3. Bio-kinetic energy harvesting using electroactive polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slade, Jeremiah R.; Bowman, Jeremy; Kornbluh, Roy

    2012-06-01

    In hybrid vehicles, electric motors are used on each wheel to not only propel the car but also to decelerate the car by acting as generators. In the case of the human body, muscles spend about half of their time acting as a brake, absorbing energy, or doing what is known as negative work. Using dielectric elastomers it is possible to use the "braking" phases of walking to generate power without restricting or fatiguing the Warfighter. Infoscitex and SRI have developed and demonstrated methods for using electroactive polymers (EAPs) to tap into the negative work generated at the knee during the deceleration phase of the human gait cycle and convert it into electrical power that can be used to support wearable information systems, including display and communication technologies. The specific class of EAP that has been selected for these applications is termed dielectric elastomers. Because dielectric elastomers dissipate very little mechanical energy into heat, greater amounts of energy can be converted into electricity than by any other method. The long term vision of this concept is to have EAP energy harvesting cells located in components of the Warfighter ensemble, such as the boot uppers, knee pads and eventually even the clothing itself. By properly locating EAPs at these sites it will be possible to not only harvest power from the negative work phase but to actually reduce the amount of work done by the Warfighter's muscles during this phase, thereby reducing fatigue and minimizing the forces transmitted to the joints.

  4. Energy Harvesting from Human Motion Using Footstep-Induced Airflow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, H.; Xu, R.; Seto, K.; Yeatman, E. M.; Kim, S. G.

    2015-12-01

    This paper presents an unobtrusive in-shoe energy harvester converting foot-strike energy into electricity to power wearable or portable devices. An air-pumped turbine system is developed to address the issues of the limited vertical deformation of shoes and the low frequency of human motion that impede harvesting energy from this source. The air pump is employed to convert the vertical foot-strike motion into airflow. The generated airflow passes through the miniaturized wind turbine whose transduction is realized by an electromagnetic generator. Energy is extracted from the generator with a higher frequency than that of footsteps, boosting the output power of the device. The turbine casing is specifically designed to enable the device to operate continuously with airflow in both directions. A prototype was fabricated and then tested under different situations. A 6 mW peak power output was obtained with a 4.9 Ω load. The achievable power from this design was estimated theoretically for understanding and further improvement.

  5. Consideration of impedance matching techniques for efficient piezoelectric energy harvesting.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyeoungwoo; Priya, Shashank; Stephanou, Harry; Uchino, Kenji

    2007-09-01

    This study investigates multiple levels of impedance-matching methods for piezoelectric energy harvesting in order to enhance the conversion of mechanical to electrical energy. First, the transduction rate was improved by using a high piezoelectric voltage constant (g) ceramic material having a magnitude of g33 = 40 x 10(-3) V m/N. Second, a transducer structure, cymbal, was optimized and fabricated to match the mechanical impedance of vibration source to that of the piezoelectric transducer. The cymbal transducer was found to exhibit approximately 40 times higher effective strain coefficient than the piezoelectric ceramics. Third, the electrical impedance matching for the energy harvesting circuit was considered to allow the transfer of generated power to a storage media. It was found that, by using the 10-layer ceramics instead of the single layer, the output current can be increased by 10 times, and the output load can be reduced by 40 times. Furthermore, by using the multilayer ceramics the output power was found to increase by 100%. A direct current (DC)-DC buck converter was fabricated to transfer the accumulated electrical energy in a capacitor to a lower output load. The converter was optimized such that it required less than 5 mW for operation.

  6. Efficiency Enhancement of a Cantilever-Based Vibration Energy Harvester

    PubMed Central

    Kubba, Ali E.; Jiang, Kyle

    2014-01-01

    Extracting energy from ambient vibration to power wireless sensor nodes has been an attractive area of research, particularly in the automotive monitoring field. This article reports the design, analysis and testing of a vibration energy harvesting device based on a miniature asymmetric air-spaced cantilever. The developed design offers high power density, and delivers electric power that is sufficient to support most wireless sensor nodes for structural health monitoring (SHM) applications. The optimized design underwent three evolutionary steps, starting from a simple cantilever design, going through an air-spaced cantilever, and ending up with an optimized air-spaced geometry with boosted power density level. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was used as an initial tool to compare the three geometries' stiffness (K), output open-circuit voltage (Vave), and average normal strain in the piezoelectric transducer (εave) that directly affect its output voltage. Experimental tests were also carried out in order to examine the energy harvesting level in each of the three designs. The experimental results show how to boost the power output level in a thin air-spaced cantilever beam for energy within the same space envelope. The developed thin air-spaced cantilever (8.37 cm3), has a maximum power output of 2.05 mW (H = 29.29 μJ/cycle). PMID:24366177

  7. Consideration of impedance matching techniques for efficient piezoelectric energy harvesting.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyeoungwoo; Priya, Shashank; Stephanou, Harry; Uchino, Kenji

    2007-09-01

    This study investigates multiple levels of impedance-matching methods for piezoelectric energy harvesting in order to enhance the conversion of mechanical to electrical energy. First, the transduction rate was improved by using a high piezoelectric voltage constant (g) ceramic material having a magnitude of g33 = 40 x 10(-3) V m/N. Second, a transducer structure, cymbal, was optimized and fabricated to match the mechanical impedance of vibration source to that of the piezoelectric transducer. The cymbal transducer was found to exhibit approximately 40 times higher effective strain coefficient than the piezoelectric ceramics. Third, the electrical impedance matching for the energy harvesting circuit was considered to allow the transfer of generated power to a storage media. It was found that, by using the 10-layer ceramics instead of the single layer, the output current can be increased by 10 times, and the output load can be reduced by 40 times. Furthermore, by using the multilayer ceramics the output power was found to increase by 100%. A direct current (DC)-DC buck converter was fabricated to transfer the accumulated electrical energy in a capacitor to a lower output load. The converter was optimized such that it required less than 5 mW for operation. PMID:17941391

  8. Efficiency enhancement of a cantilever-based vibration energy harvester.

    PubMed

    Kubba, Ali E; Jiang, Kyle

    2013-12-23

    Extracting energy from ambient vibration to power wireless sensor nodes has been an attractive area of research, particularly in the automotive monitoring field. This article reports the design, analysis and testing of a vibration energy harvesting device based on a miniature asymmetric air-spaced cantilever. The developed design offers high power density, and delivers electric power that is sufficient to support most wireless sensor nodes for structural health monitoring (SHM) applications. The optimized design underwent three evolutionary steps, starting from a simple cantilever design, going through an air-spaced cantilever, and ending up with an optimized air-spaced geometry with boosted power density level. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was used as an initial tool to compare the three geometries' stiffness (K), output open-circuit voltage (V(ave)), and average normal strain in the piezoelectric transducer (ε(ave)) that directly affect its output voltage. Experimental tests were also carried out in order to examine the energy harvesting level in each of the three designs. The experimental results show how to boost the power output level in a thin air-spaced cantilever beam for energy within the same space envelope. The developed thin air-spaced cantilever (8.37 cm3), has a maximum power output of 2.05 mW (H = 29.29 μJ/cycle).

  9. Toward Low-Frequency Mechanical Energy Harvesting Using Energy-Dense Piezoelectrochemical Materials.

    PubMed

    Cannarella, John; Arnold, Craig B

    2015-12-01

    The piezoelectrochemical coupling between mechanical stress and electrochemical potential is explored in the context of mechanical energy harvesting and shown to have promise in developing high-energy-density harvesters for low-frequency applications (e.g., human locomotion). This novel concept is demonstrated experimentally by cyclically compressing an off-the-shelf lithium-ion battery and measuring the generated electric power output.

  10. Harvesting of electrical energy from a backpack using piezoelectric shoulder straps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sodano, Henry A.; Granstrom, Jonathan; Feenstra, Joel; Farinholt, Kevin

    2007-04-01

    Over the past few decades the use of portable and wearable electronics has grown steadily. These devices are becoming increasingly more powerful, however, the gains that have been made in the device performance has resulted in the need for significantly higher power to operate the electronics. This issue has been further complicated due to the stagnate growth of battery technology over the past decade. In order to increase the life of these electronics, researchers have begun investigating methods of generating energy from ambient sources such that the life of the electronics can be prolonged. Recent developments in the field have led to the design of a number of mechanisms that can be used to generate electrical energy, from a variety of sources including thermal, solar, strain, inertia, etc. Many of these energy sources are available for use with humans, but their use must be carefully considered such that parasitic effects that could disrupt the user's gait or endurance are avoided. These issues have arisen from previous attempts to integrate power harvesting mechanisms into a shoe such that the energy released during a heal strike could be harvested. This study develops a novel energy harvesting backpack that can generate electrical energy from the differential forces between the wearer and the pack. The goal of this system is to make the energy harvesting device transparent to the wearer such that his or her endurance and dexterity is not compromised. This will be accomplished by replacing the traditional strap of the backpack with one made of the piezoelectric polymer polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF). Piezoelectric materials have a structure such that an applied electrical potential results in a mechanical strain. Conversely, an applied stress results in the generation of an electrical charge, which makes the material useful for power harvesting applications. PVDF is highly flexible and has a high strength allowing it to effectively act as the load bearing

  11. Rotational piezoelectric wind energy harvesting using impact-induced resonance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Ying; Shen, Qinlong; Jin, Jiamei; Wang, Yiping; Qian, Wangjie; Yuan, Dewang

    2014-08-01

    To improve the output power of a rotational piezoelectric wind energy harvester, impact-induced resonance is proposed to enable effective excitation of the piezoelectric cantilevers' vibration modes and obtain optimum deformation, which enhances the mechanical/electrical energy transformation. The impact force is introduced by forming a piezoelectric bimorph cantilever polygon that is fixed at the circumference of the rotating fan's internal surface. Elastic balls are placed inside the polygon. When wind rotates the device, the balls strike the piezoelectric cantilevers, and thus electricity is generated by the piezoelectric effect. The impact point is carefully chosen to use the first bending mode as much as possible, and thus maximize the harvesting efficiency. The design enables each bimorph to be struck in a similar area and every bimorph is struck in that area at different moments. As a result, a relatively stable output frequency can be obtained. The output frequency can also be changed by choosing different bimorph dimensions, which will also make the device simpler and the costs lower. A prototype piezoelectric energy harvester consisting of twelve piezoelectric cantilevers was constructed. The piezoelectric cantilevers were made from phosphor bronze, the lead zirconium titanate (PZT)-based bimorph cantilever had dimensions of 47 mm × 20 mm × 0.5 mm, and the elastic balls were made from steel with a diameter of 10 mm. The optimal DC output power was 613 μW across the 20 kΩ resistor at a rotation speed of 200 r/min with an inscribed circle diameter of 31 mm.

  12. Global stabilization of high-energy resonance for a nonlinear wideband electromagnetic vibration energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masuda, Arata; Sato, Takeru

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents an experimental verification of a wideband nonlinear vibration energy harvester which has a globally stabilized high-energy resonating response. For the conventional linear vibration energy harvester, the maximum performance of the power generation and its bandwidth are in a relation of trade-off. The resonance frequency band can be expanded by introducing a Duffing-type nonlinear resonator in order to enable the harvester to generate larger electric power in a wider frequency range. However, since such nonlinear resonators often have multiple stable steady-state solutions in the resonance band, it is difficult for the nonlinear harvester to maintain the high performance of the power generation constantly. The principle of self-excitation and entrainment has been utilized to provide the global stability to the highest-energy solution by destabilizing other unexpected lower-energy solutions by introducing a switching circuit of the load resistance between positive and the negative values depending on the response amplitude of the oscillator. In this study, an experimental verification of this concept are carried out. An experimental prototype harvester is designed and fabricated and the performance of the proposed harvester is experimentally verified. It has been shown that the numerical and experimental results agreed very well, and the highest-energy solutions above the threshold value were successfully stabilized globally.

  13. Designing and Testing Energy Harvesters Suitable for Renewable Power Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Synkiewicz, B.; Guzdek, P.; Piekarski, J.; Zaraska, K.

    2016-01-01

    Energy harvesters convert waste power (heat, light and vibration) directly to electric power . Fast progress in their technology, design and areas of application (e.g. “Internet of Things”) has been observed recently. Their effectiveness is steadily growing which makes their application to powering sensor networks with wireless data transfer reasonable. The main advantage is the independence from wired power sources, which is especially important for monitoring state of environmental parameters. In this paper we describe the design and realization of a gas sensor monitoring CO level (powered by TEG) and two, designed an constructed in ITE, autonomous power supply modules powered by modern photovoltaic cells.

  14. Energy harvesting under excitation of clamped-clamped beam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batra, Ashok; Alomari, Almuatasim; Aggarwal, Mohan; Bandyopadhyay, Alak

    2016-04-01

    In this article, a piezoelectric energy harvesting has been developed experimentally and theoretically based on Euler- Bernoulli Theory. A PVDF piezoelectric thick film has attached along of clamped-clamped beam under sinusoidal base excitation of shaker. The results showed a good agreement between the experimental and simulation of suggested model. The voltage output frequency response function (FRF), current FRF, and output power has been studied under short and open circuit conditions at first vibration mode. The mode shape of the clamped-clamped beam for first three resonance frequency has been modeled and investigated using COMSOL Multiphysics and MATLAB.

  15. A nonlinear piezoelectric energy harvester with magnetic oscillator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Lihua; Yang, Yaowen

    2012-08-01

    This letter proposes a magnetic coupled piezoelectric energy harvester (PEH), in which the magnetic interaction is introduced by a magnetic oscillator. For comparison purpose, lumped parameter models are established for the conventional linear PEH, the nonlinear PEH with a fixed magnet, and the proposed PEH with a magnetic oscillator. Both experiment and simulation show the benefits from the dynamics of the magnetic oscillator. In the experiment, nearly 100% increase in the operating bandwidth and 41% increase in the magnitude of the power output are achieved at an excitation level of 2 m/s2.

  16. Power inversion design for ocean wave energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Talebani, Anwar N.

    The needs for energy sources are increasing day by day because of several factors, such as oil depletion, and global climate change due to the higher level of CO2, so the exploration of various renewable energy sources is very promising area of study. The available ocean waves can be utilized as free source of energy as the water covers 70% of the earth surface. This thesis presents the ocean wave energy as a source of renewable energy. By addressing the problem of designing efficient power electronics system to deliver 5 KW from the induction generator to the grid with less possible losses and harmonics as possible and to control current fed to the grid to successfully harvest ocean wave energy. We design an AC-DC full bridge rectifier converter, and a DC-DC boost converter to harvest wave energy from AC to regulated DC. In order to increase the design efficiency, we need to increase the power factor from (0.5-0.6) to 1. This is accomplished by designing the boost converter with power factor correction in continues mode with RC circuit as an input to the boost converter power factor correction. This design results in a phase shift between the input current and voltage of the full bridge rectifier to generate a small reactive power. The reactive power is injected to the induction generator to maintain its functionality by generating a magnetic field in its stator. Next, we design a single-phase pulse width modulator full bridge voltage source DC-AC grid-tied mode inverter to harvest regulated DC wave energy to AC. The designed inverter is modulated by inner current loop, to control current injected to the grid with minimal filter component to maintain power quality at the grid. The simulation results show that our design successfully control the current level fed to the grid. It is noteworthy that the simulated efficiency is higher than the calculated one since we used an ideal switch in the simulated circuit.

  17. Ultrafast energy relaxation in single light-harvesting complexes

    PubMed Central

    Malý, Pavel; Gruber, J. Michael; Cogdell, Richard J.; Mančal, Tomáš; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-01-01

    Energy relaxation in light-harvesting complexes has been extensively studied by various ultrafast spectroscopic techniques, the fastest processes being in the sub–100-fs range. At the same time, much slower dynamics have been observed in individual complexes by single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy (SMS). In this work, we use a pump–probe-type SMS technique to observe the ultrafast energy relaxation in single light-harvesting complexes LH2 of purple bacteria. After excitation at 800 nm, the measured relaxation time distribution of multiple complexes has a peak at 95 fs and is asymmetric, with a tail at slower relaxation times. When tuning the excitation wavelength, the distribution changes in both its shape and position. The observed behavior agrees with what is to be expected from the LH2 excited states structure. As we show by a Redfield theory calculation of the relaxation times, the distribution shape corresponds to the expected effect of Gaussian disorder of the pigment transition energies. By repeatedly measuring few individual complexes for minutes, we find that complexes sample the relaxation time distribution on a timescale of seconds. Furthermore, by comparing the distribution from a single long-lived complex with the whole ensemble, we demonstrate that, regarding the relaxation times, the ensemble can be considered ergodic. Our findings thus agree with the commonly used notion of an ensemble of identical LH2 complexes experiencing slow random fluctuations. PMID:26903650

  18. Energy Harvesting of a Flapping Airfoil in a Vortical Wake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Z. Charlie; Wei, Zhenglun

    2014-11-01

    We study the response of a two-dimensional flapping airfoil in the wake downstream of an oscillating D-shape cylinder. The airfoil has either heaving or pitching motions. The leading edge vortex (LEV) and trailing edge vortex (TEV) of the airfoil play important roles in energy harvesting. Two major interaction modes between the airfoil and incoming vortices, the suppressing mode and the reinforcing mode, are identified. However, distinctions exist between the heaving and pitching motion in terms of their contributions to the interaction modes and the efficiency of the energy extraction. A potential theory and the related fluid dynamics analysis are developed to analytically demonstrate that the topology of the incoming vortices corresponding to the airfoil is the primary factor that determines the interaction modes. Finally, the trade-off between the input and the output is discussed. It is found that appropriate operational parameters for the heaving motion are preferable in order to preserve acceptable input power for energy harvesters, while appropriate parameters for the pitching motion are essential to achieve decent output power.

  19. Harvesting energy from the natural vibration of human walking.

    PubMed

    Yang, Weiqing; Chen, Jun; Zhu, Guang; Yang, Jin; Bai, Peng; Su, Yuanjie; Jing, Qingsheng; Cao, Xia; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2013-12-23

    The triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG), a unique technology for harvesting ambient mechanical energy based on the triboelectric effect, has been proven to be a cost-effective, simple, and robust approach for self-powered systems. However, a general challenge is that the output current is usually low. Here, we demonstrated a rationally designed TENG with integrated rhombic gridding, which greatly improved the total current output owing to the structurally multiplied unit cells connected in parallel. With the hybridization of both the contact-separation mode and sliding electrification mode among nanowire arrays and nanopores fabricated onto the surfaces of two contact plates, the newly designed TENG produces an open-circuit voltage up to 428 V, and a short-circuit current of 1.395 mA with the peak power density of 30.7 W/m(2). Relying on the TENG, a self-powered backpack was developed with a vibration-to-electric energy conversion efficiency up to 10.62(±1.19) %. And it was also demonstrated as a direct power source for instantaneously lighting 40 commercial light-emitting diodes by harvesting the vibration energy from natural human walking. The newly designed TENG can be a mobile power source for field engineers, explorers, and disaster-relief workers. PMID:24180642

  20. Ultrafast energy relaxation in single light-harvesting complexes.

    PubMed

    Malý, Pavel; Gruber, J Michael; Cogdell, Richard J; Mančal, Tomáš; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-03-15

    Energy relaxation in light-harvesting complexes has been extensively studied by various ultrafast spectroscopic techniques, the fastest processes being in the sub-100-fs range. At the same time, much slower dynamics have been observed in individual complexes by single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy (SMS). In this work, we use a pump-probe-type SMS technique to observe the ultrafast energy relaxation in single light-harvesting complexes LH2 of purple bacteria. After excitation at 800 nm, the measured relaxation time distribution of multiple complexes has a peak at 95 fs and is asymmetric, with a tail at slower relaxation times. When tuning the excitation wavelength, the distribution changes in both its shape and position. The observed behavior agrees with what is to be expected from the LH2 excited states structure. As we show by a Redfield theory calculation of the relaxation times, the distribution shape corresponds to the expected effect of Gaussian disorder of the pigment transition energies. By repeatedly measuring few individual complexes for minutes, we find that complexes sample the relaxation time distribution on a timescale of seconds. Furthermore, by comparing the distribution from a single long-lived complex with the whole ensemble, we demonstrate that, regarding the relaxation times, the ensemble can be considered ergodic. Our findings thus agree with the commonly used notion of an ensemble of identical LH2 complexes experiencing slow random fluctuations. PMID:26903650