OCT 29, 2020 8:59 AM PDT

Harnessing energy from mechanical vibrations

A study published in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering highlights the development of a novel energy harvesting device designed by engineers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The researchers produced a predictive model for detailing how to optimize the functionalities of a device capable of converting mechanical vibrations into electrical energy.

"Sooner or later these harvesters will replace batteries, reducing associated environmentally hazardous waste and maintenance costs," said lead researcher Diana-Andra Borca-Tasciuc, a professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering at Rensselaer. The device they have predicted could be used to power wireless sensors and actuators in a wide range of applications spanning from temperature and occupancy monitoring in smart environments to biosensing within the human body.

Borca-Tasciuc has been investigating this topic for years, as showcased by a previous study published by her lab in 2015 that created and tested a silicon-based energy harvesting device capable of converting mechanical energy into electricity. The recent study explains the mechanisms behind that device as well as furthering the research by demonstrating the processes necessary for power generation optimization.

"This model laid a solid foundation for parametric study and helps to push the boundaries of output power through design optimization," comments the mechanical engineering graduate student mechanical engineering who designed the model, Jinglun Li. "The high-power device developed by our group, together with its accurate analytical model, is an advancement of energy harvesting and will enable silicon-based autonomous green power supply at a microscale in the near future."

Photo: Pexels

Working with Borca-Tasciuc and Li additionally was John Tichy, a professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering at Rensselaer. Using the equations designed by Li, together the team collaborated to show how vibrational motion translates to voltage. As they report, the model’s predictions remained in line with experimental results from previous investigations.  

Sources: Journal of Micromechanics and MicroengineeringEureka Alert

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
DEC 03, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
3-D Printed, Realistic Heart Model for Training Future Physicians
DEC 03, 2020
3-D Printed, Realistic Heart Model for Training Future Physicians
Building a realistic tissue model is critical for training young physicians and surgeons, and yet challenging due to the ...
DEC 18, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
New research on the physical dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces
DEC 18, 2020
New research on the physical dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces
New research published in Advanced Nano-Biomed Research contemplates the physical dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 on abiotic ...
JAN 17, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Cleaning up microfibers at the source with electrolytic oxidation
JAN 17, 2021
Cleaning up microfibers at the source with electrolytic oxidation
A new method of eradicating microplastics in wastewater has been described in a study published recently in the Env ...
JAN 21, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Making the making of ammonia "green"
JAN 21, 2021
Making the making of ammonia "green"
For decades, economists and chemists alike have been dreaming of a hydrogen economy, where hydrogen fuels our global pow ...
FEB 12, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Unlocking the enigma of platinum catalysts
FEB 12, 2021
Unlocking the enigma of platinum catalysts
Research published in Nature Communications reports new information identifying the specific roles that platinum na ...
FEB 18, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
New insight on metal organic frameworks
FEB 18, 2021
New insight on metal organic frameworks
Researchers from KAUST have developed a metal organic framework (MOF) mimicking a class of inorganic porous materials ca ...
Loading Comments...