Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Self-powered appliances--no batteries needed

21.02.2003


Appliances that need no cables or batteries but operate purely on power generated from their surrounding vibrations could save manufacturers and consumers large sums of money, according to scientists at the University of Southampton.



Professor Neil White and his colleagues at the University’s Department of Electronics and Computer Science realised three years ago that sensors were being used in increasingly diverse application areas where physical connections to the outside world were difficult. For example, if a sensor was embedded within a structure or appliance, routine maintenance such as changing batteries could cause significant problems and cost time and money in terms of downtime.

Professor White and his team set out to explore the possibility of a self-powered sensor. They explored two devices: a magnet and coil arrangement where relative movement between the coil and the poles of a permanent magnet generates electricity by electromagnetic induction; and a second device based on piezo-electric material to generate electrical energy from vibration-induced deformations. They adopted the former device in the development of their system. The power generated by the sensor is based on its vibrations, so they needed to find applications that vibrate in order to test its effectiveness.


’We initially thought of road bridges’, comments Professor White, ’but modern-day bridges don’t shake that well, apart from the Millennium bridge that is! This will work best if you have a sensor buried in a device that you cannot easily access. The ideal scenario is to have a device that will generate power from a vibration source which will in turn power the sensor.’

The team has tested the sensor on several applications. Having assessed car floors, jack-hammers and motor cycle handlebars, they have found that helicopter rotor blades and fitness cycle machines might also be suitable applications.

’A self-powered sensor could be used to power additional features on equipment’, comments Professor White. ’For example, on a fitness cycle machine, the power generated could power the display panel. The big advantage is that it would reduce the need for batteries, cabling and downtime.’

Sarah Watts | alfa

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake
12.12.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Two holograms in one surface
12.12.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>