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Sensors 2014, 14(7), 12497-12510; doi:10.3390/s140712497

A Shoe-Embedded Piezoelectric Energy Harvester for Wearable Sensors

1 Collaborative Innovation Center for Micro/Nano Fabrication, Device and System, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China 2 State Key Laboratory of Precision Measurement Technology and Instrument, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China 3 Department of Precision Instrument, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 June 2014 / Revised: 28 June 2014 / Accepted: 7 July 2014 / Published: 11 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Harvesting mechanical energy from human motion is an attractive approach for obtaining clean and sustainable electric energy to power wearable sensors, which are widely used for health monitoring, activity recognition, gait analysis and so on. This paper studies a piezoelectric energy harvester for the parasitic mechanical energy in shoes originated from human motion. The harvester is based on a specially designed sandwich structure with a thin thickness, which makes it readily compatible with a shoe. Besides, consideration is given to both high performance and excellent durability. The harvester provides an average output power of 1 mW during a walk at a frequency of roughly 1 Hz. Furthermore, a direct current (DC) power supply is built through integrating the harvester with a power management circuit. The DC power supply is tested by driving a simulated wireless transmitter, which can be activated once every 2–3 steps with an active period lasting 5 ms and a mean power of 50 mW. This work demonstrates the feasibility of applying piezoelectric energy harvesters to power wearable sensors.
Keywords: energy harvester; wearable sensors; power supply; wearable energy harvester energy harvester; wearable sensors; power supply; wearable energy harvester
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Zhao, J.; You, Z. A Shoe-Embedded Piezoelectric Energy Harvester for Wearable Sensors. Sensors 2014, 14, 12497-12510.

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