Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mini Generator Has Enough Power to Run Electronics

24.11.2004


The microgenerator produces useful amounts of electricity by spinning a small magnet above a mesh of coils fabricated on a chip


New microengines would be smaller, last 10 times longer than batteries

It may be tiny, but a new microgenerator developed at Georgia Tech can now produce enough power to run a small electronic device, like a cell phone, and may soon be able to power a laptop. The microgenerator is about 10 millimeters wide, or about the size of a dime. When coupled with a similarly sized gas-fueled microturbine (or jet) engine, the system, called a microengine, has the potential to deliver more energy and last 10 times longer than a conventional battery.

Developed by doctoral candidate David Arnold, postdoctoral fellows Dr. Iulica Zana and Dr. Jin-Woo Park, and Professor Mark Allen, in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech, the microgenerator produces useful amounts of electricity by spinning a small magnet above a mesh of coils fabricated on a chip. The microelectromechanical system (MEMS) was developed in close collaboration with Sauparna Das and Dr. Jeffrey Lang in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).



While work has been underway for several years on various microengine concepts, Georgia Tech’s generator has now demonstrated the ability to produce the wattage necessary to power an electronic device, Arnold said. “We can now get macro-scale power from a micro-scale device,” Arnold added. This advancement is a key step in microengines someday being incorporated into products and possibly replacing conventional batteries in certain electronics. “This is an important step in the development of MEMS-based micro-power systems,” Allen said.

The device’s magnet spins at 100,000 revolutions per minute (rpm), much faster than the comparatively sluggish 3,000 rpm of an average car engine. Speed like that is capable of producing 1.1 watts of power, or enough juice to run a cell phone. If the project reaches its projected goal, it will eventually produce as much as 20 to 50 watts, capable of powering a laptop.

The research is part of a larger project funded by the Army Research Laboratory to create lighter portable power sources to replace the heavy batteries that currently power a soldier’s equipment, such as laptops, radios, and GPS systems. Researchers at the University of Maryland and Clark Atlanta University also collaborate on the project.

One of the team’s key problems was figuring out how to spin the magnet fast enough to get useful amounts of power, while keeping the magnet from breaking apart. High-performance magnets are brittle and easily broken up by the centrifugal force created by high speeds. To overcome this problem, the researchers have optimized the magnet dimensions and encased it in a titanium alloy to increase its strength.

In the lab, the team used an air-powered drill — similar to what a dentist would use — that simulates the spinning of the magnet by the micro gas turbine (still under development at MIT). Now that initial tests have been successful, they hope to increase the speeds to what would be used in an actual microengine to squeeze out more power.

The Georgia Tech/MIT team will present their progress with the project at the International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) in January.

Megan McRainey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.gatech.edu

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Laser sensor LAH-G1 - optical distance sensors with measurement value display
15.08.2017 | WayCon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH

nachricht Engineers find better way to detect nanoparticles
14.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>