There is a big world wide effort on the development of energy scavenging devices to power wireless electronics. The research activities have demonstrated that this type of devices has a great potential for applications that can be driven by a few microwat ts. The basic motivation behind the field
is to prolong or even eliminate maintenance cycles of sensor systems by recharging batteries using electrical power harvested from the environment and ultimately replace batteries altogether in certain application s.
By removing the need for batteries and manufacturing the energy harvesting devices using modern cost effective microfabrication technologies, it is a hope to obtain low cost environment friendly components that contribute to smaller system size and ma intenance free operation. One of the most promising sources of energy is ambient vibrations in structures and machinery, i.e. energy harvesting from motion.
Current prototype devices are generally quite narrow banded and therefore incapable of responding efficiently to motion that is wide banded, vary in frequency over time or is sensitive to environmental boundary conditions.
The primary objective of this project is to establish motion energy harvester device concepts that can perform better than cur rent resonant devices under realistic operationg conditions. This will be accomplished by investigating new energy harvester device concepts that can extract power from a wider band of the excitation signal than conventional designs or alternatively show a wider tolerance to frequency variations.