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Open AccessArticle

Kinetic Energy Harvesting for Wearable Medical Sensors

1
Faculty of Engineering, University of Rijeka, Vukovarska 58, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia
2
Centre for Micro- and Nanosciences and Technologies, University of Rijeka, Radmile Matejčić 2, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia
3
Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences, Tampere University, Korkeakoulunkatu 3, 33720 Tampere, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(22), 4922; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19224922
Received: 15 October 2019 / Revised: 6 November 2019 / Accepted: 10 November 2019 / Published: 12 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Harvester Sensing)
The process of collecting low-level kinetic energy, which is present in all moving systems, by using energy harvesting principles, is of particular interest in wearable technology, especially in ultra-low power devices for medical applications. In fact, the replacement of batteries with innovative piezoelectric energy harvesting devices can result in mass and size reduction, favoring the miniaturization of wearable devices, as well as drastically increasing their autonomy. The aim of this work is to assess the power requirements of wearable sensors for medical applications, and address the intrinsic problem of piezoelectric kinetic energy harvesting devices that can be used to power them; namely, the narrow area of optimal operation around the eigenfrequencies of a specific device. This is achieved by using complex numerical models comprising modal, harmonic and transient analyses. In order to overcome the random nature of excitations generated by human motion, novel excitation modalities are investigated with the goal of increasing the specific power outputs. A solution embracing an optimized harvester geometry and relying on an excitation mechanism suitable for wearable medical sensors is hence proposed. The electrical circuitry required for efficient energy management is considered as well. View Full-Text
Keywords: kinetic energy harvesting; wearable medical sensors; coupled electromechanical analysis; optimized design configurations; frequency bandwidth; energy management kinetic energy harvesting; wearable medical sensors; coupled electromechanical analysis; optimized design configurations; frequency bandwidth; energy management
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gljušćić, P.; Zelenika, S.; Blažević, D.; Kamenar, E. Kinetic Energy Harvesting for Wearable Medical Sensors. Sensors 2019, 19, 4922.

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