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Energies 2014, 7(6), 3695-3709;

Development of a Digital and Battery-Free Smart Flowmeter

Mechanical Engineering Department, Kun Shan University, 195 Kun Da Road, Tainan City 71003, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 March 2014 / Revised: 14 May 2014 / Accepted: 26 May 2014 / Published: 16 June 2014
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To effectively manage and save energy and natural resources, the measurement and monitoring of gas/fluid flows play extremely important roles. The objective of this study was to incorporate an efficient power generation and a power management system for a commercial water flow meter thus eliminating the usage of batteries. Three major technologies have made this possible: a low power consumption metering unit, a cog-resistance-free generator with high efficiency; and an effective methodology to extract/store energy. In this system, a new attempt and simple approach was developed to successfully extract a portion of the kinetic energy from the fluid/air, store it in a capacitor and used it efficiently. The resistance to the flow was negligible because of the very low power consumption as well as the application of the coreless generator technology. Feasibility was demonstrated through repeated experiments: for air flowing in an 11 mm diameter pipe, 18 s of energy harvesting at 10 revolution-per-second (RPS) turbine speeds generated enough power for the flowmeter to operate for 720 s with a flowrate of 20 RPS, without battery or any external power. The pipeline monitoring in remote areas such as deep sea oil drilling; geothermal power plants and even nuclear power plants could benefit greatly from this self-power metering system design. View Full-Text
Keywords: flowmeter; leakage control; flow monitoring; self-powered flowmeter; autonomous flowmeter; smart metering system flowmeter; leakage control; flow monitoring; self-powered flowmeter; autonomous flowmeter; smart metering system

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Hao, W.S.; Garcia, R. Development of a Digital and Battery-Free Smart Flowmeter. Energies 2014, 7, 3695-3709.

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