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 How protons move through a fuel cell
22.06.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

nachricht Fraunhofer IZFP acquires lucrative EU project for increasing nuclear power plant safety
21.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>