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Article

Optimisation and Management of Energy Generated by a Multifunctional MFC-Integrated Composite Chassis for Rail Vehicles

1
Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
2
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
3
School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK
4
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Chester, Chester CH2 4NU, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2020, 13(11), 2720; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112720
Received: 29 March 2020 / Revised: 18 May 2020 / Accepted: 21 May 2020 / Published: 28 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section H: Energy Fundamentals and Conversion)
With the advancing trend towards lighter and faster rail transport, there is an increasing interest in integrating composite and advanced multifunctional materials in order to infuse smart sensing and monitoring, energy harvesting and wireless capabilities within the otherwise purely mechanical rail structures and the infrastructure. This paper presents a holistic multiphysics numerical study, across both mechanical and electrical domains, that describes an innovative technique of harvesting energy from a piezoelectric micro fiber composites (MFC) built-in composite rail chassis structure. Representative environmental vibration data measured from a rail cabin have been critically leveraged here to help predict the actual vibratory and power output behaviour under service. Time domain mean stress distribution data from the Finite Element simulation were used to predict the raw AC voltage output of the MFCs. Conditioned power output was then calculated using circuit simulation of several state-of-the-art power conditioning circuits. A peak instantaneous rectified power of 181.9 mW was obtained when eight-stage Synchronised Switch Harvesting Capacitors (SSHC) from eight embedded MFCs were located. The results showed that the harvested energy could be sufficient to sustain a self-powered structural health monitoring system with wireless communication capabilities. This study serves as a theoretical foundation of scavenging for vibrational power from the ambient state in a rail environment as well as to pointing to design principles to develop regenerative and power neutral smart vehicles. View Full-Text
Keywords: vibration energy harvesting; micro fiber composite; finite element analysis; circuit design and optimization; power conditioning circuit; lightweight rail vehicle vibration energy harvesting; micro fiber composite; finite element analysis; circuit design and optimization; power conditioning circuit; lightweight rail vehicle
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, Y.; Du, S.; Micallef, C.; Jia, Y.; Shi, Y.; Hughes, D.J. Optimisation and Management of Energy Generated by a Multifunctional MFC-Integrated Composite Chassis for Rail Vehicles. Energies 2020, 13, 2720. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112720

AMA Style

Liu Y, Du S, Micallef C, Jia Y, Shi Y, Hughes DJ. Optimisation and Management of Energy Generated by a Multifunctional MFC-Integrated Composite Chassis for Rail Vehicles. Energies. 2020; 13(11):2720. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112720

Chicago/Turabian Style

Liu, Yiding, Sijun Du, Christopher Micallef, Yu Jia, Yu Shi, and Darren J. Hughes. 2020. "Optimisation and Management of Energy Generated by a Multifunctional MFC-Integrated Composite Chassis for Rail Vehicles" Energies 13, no. 11: 2720. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112720

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