DOI: 10.3390/app14031246 ISSN: 2076-3417

A Robust Generator–Harvester for Independent Sensor Systems

Jiří Zukal, Zoltán Szabó, Tomáš Kříž, Radim Kadlec, Jamila Dědková, Pavel Fiala
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • General Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • General Materials Science

The research is centered on energy production and harvesting to facilitate the transformation of electrical energy with energy-independent sensor systems, using powering devices in the expected power range of P = 10–10,000 W. A model application case for a harvester is the conversion of energy stored in the compressed gas during expansion; such gas embodies the energy stored in scenarios such as braking a car using an auxiliary pump. Similar systems find use in sensing various quantities in the transport sector (bridge structures, infrastructural components, cars, and other objects). The proposed theoretical harvester models describing the transformation of linear motion energy into electricity provide relevant support for the experiments. In the given context, the results obtained in the designing and construction of a robust motion generator with a primarily linear geometry-based system technology are presented, too. The expected output of electrical power of an N-segment harvester within the tested type is variable, and the design exploits the rectilinear motion generated by an engine using compressed air, a small fuel system, and similar options to obtain an expected/adjustable N-segment power in the range of Psm = 10–500 W. The fundamental structure of the generator core has been continuously numerically modeled, and an experimental setup has been developed to analyze the specific parts and variations in order to validate the concept and to achieve the most suitable parameters with the selected construction materials (a power yield increase of up to 2000 times). A scaled-down version of the model principle was tested in the experiments, and the parameters and results were compared with the predicted theoretical analyses. Generally, the conceptual layout of an enhanced magnetic circuit layout transforming motion energy into electricity was presented and verified.

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