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Energies 2018, 11(6), 1424; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11061424

Design, Analysis, and Evaluation of a Compact Electromagnetic Energy Harvester from Water Flow for Remote Sensors

Ocean College, Zhejiang University, Zhoushan 316000, China
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Received: 4 May 2018 / Revised: 28 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 2 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Fundamentals and Conversion)
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Abstract

This paper develops an electromagnetic energy harvester, which can generate small-scale electricity from non-directional water flow in oceans or rivers for remote sensors. The energy harvester integrates a Tesla disk turbine, a miniature axial-flux permanent magnet generator, and a ring cover with symmetrical grooves which are utilized to rectify flow direction. A compact structure is achieved by mounting the permanent magnets of the generator directly on the end surfaces of the turbine rotor. Theoretical analysis is implemented to illustrate the energy conversion process between flow kinetic form and electrical form. Additionally, a mathematical model is developed to investigate the magnetic field distribution produced by the cubical permanent magnets as well as parametric effect. Plastic prototypes with a diameter of 65 mm and a height of 46 mm are fabricated by using a 3D printing technique. The effect of the groove angle is experimentally investigated and compared under a no-load condition. The prototype with the optimal groove angle can operate at flow velocity down to 0.61 m/s and can induce peak-to-peak electromotive force of 2.64–11.92 V at flow velocity of 0.61–1.87 m/s. It can be observed from the results that the analytical and the measured curves are in good accordance. Loaded experiments show that the output electrical power is 23.1 mW at flow velocity of 1.87 m/s when the load resistance is approximately equal to the coil resistance. The advantages and disadvantages of the proposed energy harvester are presented through comparison with existing similar devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: electromagnetic energy harvester; integrated design; permanent magnet; Tesla disk turbine; water flow electromagnetic energy harvester; integrated design; permanent magnet; Tesla disk turbine; water flow
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Wang, T.; Zhang, Y. Design, Analysis, and Evaluation of a Compact Electromagnetic Energy Harvester from Water Flow for Remote Sensors. Energies 2018, 11, 1424.

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