Energy Harvesting & Storage
As device sizes keep shrinking, the power requirement of the devices has been decreasing. In recent years, a trend to harvest energy from the environment rather than to use energy from a generator, power line or batter has been developing. Almost all the systems are subjected to various types of transient and vibrational excitations from the environment. In many cases, the level of vibrations would be sufficient to generate sufficient amounts of energy to drive piezoelectric motors and wireless communication devices. Faculty in this research group are collaborating with Cornell University faculty in the development of an array of self-tuning mechanical oscillators to be fabricated using MEMS technology and a project funded by the Transportation Research Board on the design and development of a generator using bridge vibrations to supply power to sensors for bridge monitoring is underway.