Harnessing Low-Frequency Vibrations For Energy — Near-Infinite Power Source Tapped For Miniature Electronics

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Harvesting the vast energy potential of low-frequency vibrations for the powering of small-scale electronic devices has long been a goal of researchers in the field of microelectronics, and one that is looking increasingly likely to be achieved, based on recent developments.

Researchers at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*STAR) Institute of Microelectronics have created an energy harvester that can harvest the energy of vibrations across a relatively wide frequency range, and in a number of different types of environments — qualities that place the new design on an entirely different level than previous ones.

Image Credit: Vibrations via Flickr CCImage Credit: Vibrations via Flickr CC

Earlier designs have generally been much more limited in their harvesting range, often only operating at one fixed frequency. Previous work has also relied on the expansion of device size in order to increase maximum power output — which limits the potential applications of the device. In order to address these issues, the researchers have started from scratch.

A*STAR provides details:

To address these design challenges, IME researchers have demonstrated an aluminium nitride (AlN) based energy harvester with record-high power density of 1.5 x 10-3 W/cm3 capable of generating electricity equivalent to three commercial implantable batteries over a 10-year period. As an inexorable power supply, the remarkable power density feature translates into massive savings as costs and logistics associated with power source servicing will no longer be relevant.

The energy harvester also extends the flexibility of low frequency vibrational sources that can be harvested by offering the widest sampling range of 10th — 100 Hz. The wide sampling range makes it now possible to more productively harness real-world vibrational sources in spite of their irregularity and randomness.

Researcher Dr Alex Gu, Technical Director of IME’s Sensors and Actuators Microsystems Programme, explained: “Our design strategy exploits the coupling effect between the Vortex shedding and Helmholtz resonating in order to enhance the Helmholtz resonating and lower the threshold input pressure. By transferring the low frequency input vibrational energy into a pressurised fluid, the fluid synchronizes the random input vibrations into pre-defined resonance frequencies, thus enabling the full utilization of vibrations from the complete low frequency spectrum.”

Professor Dim-Lee Kwong, Executive Director of IME, added: “This breakthrough presents tremendous opportunities to realise a practical, sustainable and efficient energy renewal model with attractive small-form factor, low cost solution for a wide range of applications from implantable medical devices, wireless communication and sensor networks, to other mobile electronics that enable future mobile society.”

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book

Holiday Wish Book Cover

Click to download.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

5 thoughts on “Harnessing Low-Frequency Vibrations For Energy — Near-Infinite Power Source Tapped For Miniature Electronics

  • “As an inexorable power supply,…”

    What in the world does that mean?

  • Another idiot contributor that belongs on the PESN network. Well let’s face it he probably is !

  • this might just sound stupid, “i’m no scientist”
    but what would be the result of say something that Amit’s low frequency vibrations (in a controlled environment) and is surrounded by “energy harnesser’s” would it be possible to even say harness eg 1/10 of the power used to Amit the low frequency 11 times over, thus generating 11/10 power ie, a perpetual power sauce….. Call me crazy.

Comments are closed.