Energy harvesting from human-body-induced motion is mostly challenging due to the low-frequency, high-amplitude nature of the motion, which makes the use of conventional cantilevered spring-mass oscillators unrealizable. Frequency up-conversion by mechanical impact is an effective way to overcome the challenge. However, direct impact on the transducer element (especially, piezoelectric) increases the risk of damaging it and raises questions on the reliability of the energy harvester. In order to overcome this shortcoming, we proposed a transverse mechanical impact driven frequency up-converted hybrid energy harvester for human-limb motion. It utilizes the integration of both piezoelectric and electromagnetic transducers in a given size that allows more energy to be harvested from a single mechanical motion, which, in turn, further improves the power density. While excited by human-limb motion, a freely-movable non-magnetic sphere exerts transverse impact by periodically sliding over a seismic mass attached to a double-clamped piezoelectric bimorph beam. This allows the beam to vibrate at its resonant frequency and generates power by means of the piezoelectric effect. A magnet attached to the beam also takes part in generating power by inducing voltage in a coil adjacent to it. A mathematical model has been developed and experimentally corroborated. At a periodic limb-motion of 5.2 Hz, maximum 93 µW and 61 µW average powers (overall 8 µW·cm−3
average power density) were generated by the piezoelectric and the electromagnetic transducers, respectively. Moreover, the prototype successfully demonstrated the application of low-power electronics via suitable AC-DC converters.
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