New vibration powered generator for wireless systems

July 4, 2007

A generator that is 10 times more powerful than any other similar devices has been developed by engineers at the University of Southampton.

Dr Steve Beeby and his team at the University's School of Electronics & Computer Science (ECS) have developed a kinetic energy generator which generates electrical energy from the vibrations and movements present within its environment.

'This is the most successful generator of its kind and generates energy much more efficiently than any similar device of its size,' said Dr Beeby.

The generator, which is less than 1 cubic cm in size, was developed as part of the EU-funded EUR4.13 million VIBES (Vibration Energy Scavenging) project. It has been designed to power wireless sensors that monitor the condition of industrial plant and is intended to be installed within an air compressor unit supplying several laboratories within a building.

It could also be used in wireless, self-powered tyre sensors and if developed further, could even form the basis of technology for self-powered pace makers. The technology offers the potential to replace or augment batteries. The periodic replacement of batteries is not feasible for embedded applications and is highly unattractive in wireless sensor networks containing hundreds of sensor nodes.

'Vibration energy harvesting is receiving a considerable amount of interest as a means for powering wireless sensor nodes,' said Dr Beeby. 'The big advantage of wireless sensor systems is that by removing wires and batteries, there is the potential for embedding sensors in previously inaccessible locations.'

According to Dr Beeby, over the years, there has been a growing interest in the field of low power miniature sensors and wireless sensor networks, but an area that has received comparatively little attention is how to supply the required electrical power to such sensors, particularly if the sensor is completely embedded in the structure with no physical connection to the outside world. He believes that the VIBES generator could hold the solution.

A paper entitled A micro electromagnetic generator for vibration energy harvesting about this research has just been published on the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering website.

Dr Beeby and his team plan to exploit this application further through Perpetuum, the world-leading vibration energy-harvesting company which was formed in 2004 as a spin out from the University of Southampton.

Source: University of Southampton

Explore further: Beyond 5G: The next generation

Related Stories

Beyond 5G: The next generation

January 30, 2019

For many of us, when we send a text or make a call from our cell phones, we're relying on 4G. Though for as much as we rely on it, very few of us know what it actually means. In reality, the "G" in these terms only stands ...

Can nanotechnology rewire an injured spinal cord?

January 21, 2019

According to the World Health Organisation, up to a half-million people around the world suffer a spinal cord injury each year. Often caused by road traffic crashes, accidents or violence, the loss of motor control or paralysis ...

France to seek tougher oversight of 5G network gear

January 22, 2019

France will require telecommunications companies to allow more government oversight and control of the equipment required for next-generation 5G wireless networks due to security concerns, a government official said Tuesday.

Next-generation asthma inhalers

December 7, 2018

In Europe alone, there are almost 30 million people who suffer from asthma. The myAirCoach project provides an innovative smart inhaler device along with integrated mobile Health (mHealth) personalised asthma monitoring services ...

Innovative method leads to smaller, cheaper IoT sensors

November 15, 2018

Researchers from the Green IC research group at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have invented a low-cost, no-battery wake-up timer in the form of an on-chip circuit that significantly reduces power consumption ...

Recommended for you

Galactic center visualization delivers star power

March 21, 2019

Want to take a trip to the center of the Milky Way? Check out a new immersive, ultra-high-definition visualization. This 360-movie offers an unparalleled opportunity to look around the center of the galaxy, from the vantage ...

Physicists reveal why matter dominates universe

March 21, 2019

Physicists in the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University have confirmed that matter and antimatter decay differently for elementary particles containing charmed quarks.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.