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Topical Collection "Energy Harvesting Sensors"

Editor

Dr. Fabio Viola
Website
Collection Editor
Department of Engineering, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Parco d’Orleans, 90128, Palermo PA, Italy
Interests: electromagnetic compatibility; high voltage; partial discharges; renewable energy; power converters and energy harvesting
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Our existence is immersed in a bath of energy, which is often left to degrade because we perceive this energy as expendable. We need to invert the following succession of concepts: If something is of interest, it has its own energy, and the same energy can be used to determine its parameters. However, in other cases, the same energy can be taken from systems on the side, whether they supply it intentionally or not.

In Greek mythology, Prometheus, is remembered for having deceived the gods of Olympus and bringing fire to mankind after he was abducted by Zeus, who wanted to punish human beings for an affront, leaving them devoid of a visual sense. Now researchers, as the modern Prometheus, can bring energy into every device for sensing using energy harvesting.

Moreover, the research is moving toward the collection of multiple forms of information, which is not one set of values over same and different time, but a set of values in knowledge, in the broadest sense of the term—the real-world objects.

To represent an object, we can no longer rely on its secondary aspects but must have information on its behaviour under stressful conditions. There are many sensors to be used and the technologies that feed them must be less invasive.

New energy harvesting devices based on electromagnetic or mechanical principles are continually being invented, exploiting electronic components to make power available for sensors.

This collection aims to bring together the latest research in the energy harvesting sensing discipline. Contributions may refresh the state-of-the-art technology, point out the benefits of emerging technologies, or investigate novel schemes and applications. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to

  • Energy harvesting sensing;
  • Mechanical harvesters;
  • Electromagnetic harvesters;
  • Electronic circuits for the storage.
Dr. Fabio Viola
Collection Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • energy harvester
  • sensors
  • piezoelectric effect
  • electromechanical device
  • rectifying circuit
  • autonomous sensors
  • charging (batteries)
  • energy autonomy
  • microsystems

Published Papers (10 papers)

2021

Jump to: 2020

Open AccessArticle
A Contact-Mode Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Energy Harvesting from Marine Pipe Vibrations
Sensors 2021, 21(4), 1514; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21041514 - 22 Feb 2021
Abstract
Structural health monitoring is of great significance to ensure the safety of marine pipes, while powering the required monitoring sensors remains a problem because the ocean environment is not amenable to the traditional ways of providing an external power supply. However, mechanical energy [...] Read more.
Structural health monitoring is of great significance to ensure the safety of marine pipes, while powering the required monitoring sensors remains a problem because the ocean environment is not amenable to the traditional ways of providing an external power supply. However, mechanical energy due to the vortex-induced vibration of pipelines may be harvested to power those sensors, which is a convenient, economic and environmentally friendly way. We here exploit a contact-separation mode triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) to create an efficient energy harvester to transform the mechanical energy of vibrating pipes into electrical energy. The TENG device is composed of a tribo-pair of dielectric material films that is connected to a mass-spring base to guarantee the contact-separation motions of the tribo-pair. Experimental tests are conducted to demonstrate the output performance and long-term durability of the TENG device by attaching it to a sample pipe. A theoretical model for the energy harvesting system is developed for predicting the electrical output performance of the device. It is established that the normalized output power depends only on two compound variables with all typical factors taken into consideration simultaneously. The simple scale law is useful to reveal the underlying mechanism of the device and can guideline the optimization of the device based on multi-parameters analyses. The results here may provide references for designing contact-mode TENG energy harvesting devices based on the vibration of marine pipes and similar structures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling of a Symmetric Five-Bar Displacement Amplification Compliant Mechanism for Energy Harvesting
Sensors 2021, 21(4), 1095; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21041095 - 05 Feb 2021
Abstract
This paper presents an analytical model to determine a closed form mathematical representation for the output displacement of a displacement amplification compliant mechanism used for energy harvesting. A symmetric five-bar compliant mechanism with right-circular and corner-filleted flexure hinges was mathematically modeled and its [...] Read more.
This paper presents an analytical model to determine a closed form mathematical representation for the output displacement of a displacement amplification compliant mechanism used for energy harvesting. A symmetric five-bar compliant mechanism with right-circular and corner-filleted flexure hinges was mathematically modeled and its displacement was determined using the Castigliano energy theorem. The stresses within the flexure joints, the weakest points in the mechanism body, were calculated. The mathematical model expresses both the displacement amplification and the stresses as functions of the design parameters and the load caused by the harvester. The developed model can be used to optimize the mechanism dimensions for maximum harvested power, while minimizing its structural stresses. The mechanism was also modeled numerically using finite element methods; both the analytical and numerical models were verified experimentally. The mathematical model of the mechanism was integrated with a model representing a piezoelectric energy harvester to calculate the open-circuit voltage. As a proof of concept, experiments were performed using an unimorph piezoelectric cantilever at low-frequency (less than 1 Hz) harmonic excitation inputs. The measured open-circuit voltage was found to be in agreement with that calculated using the proposed model, when integrated with the model representing the piezoelectric beam. The power generated by the piezoelectric harvester, equipped with the proposed displacement amplification mechanism, was more than a hundred times that without amplification. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Energy-Aware System Design for Autonomous Wireless Sensor Nodes: A Comprehensive Review
Sensors 2021, 21(2), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21020548 - 14 Jan 2021
Abstract
Nowadays, wireless sensor networks are becoming increasingly important in several sectors including industry, transportation, environment and medicine. This trend is reinforced by the spread of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in almost all sectors. Autonomous energy supply is thereby an essential aspect as [...] Read more.
Nowadays, wireless sensor networks are becoming increasingly important in several sectors including industry, transportation, environment and medicine. This trend is reinforced by the spread of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in almost all sectors. Autonomous energy supply is thereby an essential aspect as it decides the flexible positioning and easy maintenance, which are decisive for the acceptance of this technology, its wide use and sustainability. Significant improvements made in the last years have shown interesting possibilities for realizing energy-aware wireless sensor nodes (WSNs) by designing manifold and highly efficient energy converters and reducing energy consumption of hardware, software and communication protocols. Using only a few of these techniques or focusing on only one aspect is not sufficient to realize practicable and market relevant solutions. This paper therefore provides a comprehensive review on system design for battery-free and energy-aware WSN, making use of ambient energy or wireless energy transmission. It addresses energy supply strategies and gives a deep insight in energy management methods as well as possibilities for energy saving on node and network level. The aim therefore is to provide deep insight into system design and increase awareness of suitable techniques for realizing battery-free and energy-aware wireless sensor nodes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
RF-Powered Low-Energy Sensor Nodes for Predictive Maintenance in Electromagnetically Harsh Industrial Environments
Sensors 2021, 21(2), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21020386 - 08 Jan 2021
Abstract
This work describes the design, implementation, and validation of a wireless sensor network for predictive maintenance and remote monitoring in metal-rich, electromagnetically harsh environments. Energy is provided wirelessly at 2.45 GHz employing a system of three co-located active antennas designed with a conformal [...] Read more.
This work describes the design, implementation, and validation of a wireless sensor network for predictive maintenance and remote monitoring in metal-rich, electromagnetically harsh environments. Energy is provided wirelessly at 2.45 GHz employing a system of three co-located active antennas designed with a conformal shape such that it can power, on-demand, sensor nodes located in non-line-of-sight (NLOS) and difficult-to-reach positions. This allows for eliminating the periodic battery replacement of the customized sensor nodes, which are designed to be compact, low-power, and robust. A measurement campaign has been conducted in a real scenario, i.e., the engine compartment of a car, assuming the exploitation of the system in the automotive field. Our work demonstrates that a one radio-frequency (RF) source (illuminator) with a maximum effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) of 27 dBm is capable of transferring the energy of 4.8 mJ required to fully charge the sensor node in less than 170 s, in the worst case of 112-cm distance between illuminator and node (NLOS). We also show how, in the worst case, the transferred power allows the node to operate every 60 s, where operation includes sampling accelerometer data for 1 s, extracting statistical information, transmitting a 20-byte payload, and receiving a 3-byte acknowledgment using the extremely robust Long Range (LoRa) communication technology. The energy requirement for an active cycle is between 1.45 and 1.65 mJ, while sleep mode current consumption is less than 150 nA, allowing for achieving the targeted battery-free operation with duty cycles as high as 1.7%. Full article
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2020

Jump to: 2021

Open AccessLetter
Fuzzy Controller Applied to a Remote Energy Harvesting Emulation Platform
Sensors 2020, 20(20), 5874; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20205874 - 17 Oct 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In the last decades, a lot of effort has been made in order to improve the use of environmentally friendly and renewable energy sources. In a context of small energy usage, energy harvesting takes place and thermal energy sources are one of its [...] Read more.
In the last decades, a lot of effort has been made in order to improve the use of environmentally friendly and renewable energy sources. In a context of small energy usage, energy harvesting takes place and thermal energy sources are one of its main energy sources because there are several unused heat sources available in the environment that may be used as renewable energy sources. To rapidly evaluate the energy potential of such thermal sources is a hard task, therefore, a way to perform this is welcome. In this work, a thermal pattern emulation system to evaluate potential thermal source in a easy way is proposed. The main characteristics of the proposed system is that it is online and remote, that is, while the thermal-source-under-test is being measured, the system is emulating it and evaluating the generated energy remotely. The main contribution of this work was to replace the conventional Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) controller to a Fuzzy-Proportional Integral (PI) controller. In order to compare both controllers, three tests were carried out, namely: (a) step response, (b) perturbation test, (c) thermal emulation of the thermal pattern obtained from a potential thermal source: tree trucks. Experimental results show that the Fuzzy-PI controller was faster than the PID, achieving a setting time 41.26% faster, and also was more efficient with a maximum error 53% smaller than the PID. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A New Approach for Impedance Tracking of Piezoelectric Vibration Energy Harvesters Based on a Zeta Converter
Sensors 2020, 20(20), 5862; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20205862 - 16 Oct 2020
Abstract
Piezoelectric energy harvesters (PEHs) are a reduced, but fundamental, source of power for embedded, remote, and no-grid connected electrical systems. Some key limits, such as low power density, poor conversion efficiency, high internal impedance, and AC output, can be partially overcome by matching [...] Read more.
Piezoelectric energy harvesters (PEHs) are a reduced, but fundamental, source of power for embedded, remote, and no-grid connected electrical systems. Some key limits, such as low power density, poor conversion efficiency, high internal impedance, and AC output, can be partially overcome by matching their internal electrical impedance to that of the applied resistance load. However, the applied resistance load can vary significantly in time, since it depends on the vibration frequency and the working temperature. Hence, a real-time tracking of the applied impedance load should be done to always harvest the maximum energy from the PEH. This paper faces the above problem by presenting an active control able to track and follow in time the optimal working point of a PEH. It exploits a non-conventional AC–DC converter, which integrates a single-stage DC–DC Zeta converter and a full-bridge active rectifier, controlled by a dedicated algorithm based on pulse-width modulation (PWM) with maximum power point tracking (MPPT). A prototype of the proposed converter, based on discrete components, was created and experimentally tested by applying a sudden variation of the resistance load, aimed to emulate a change in the excitation frequency from 30 to 70 Hz and a change in the operating temperature from 25 to 50 °C. Results showed the effectiveness of the proposed approach, which allowed to match the optimal load after 0.38 s for a ΔR of 47 kΩ and after 0.15 s for a ΔR of 18 kΩ. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improved Multilayered (Bi,Sc)O3-(Pb,Ti)O3 Piezoelectric Energy Harvesters Based on Impedance Matching Technique
Sensors 2020, 20(7), 1958; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20071958 - 31 Mar 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
As a piezoelectric material, (Bi,Sc)O3-(Pb,Ti)O3 ceramics have been tested and analyzed for sensors and energy harvester applications owing to their relatively high Curie temperature and high piezoelectric coefficient. In this work, we prepared optimized (Bi,Sc)O3-(Pb,Ti)O3 piezoelectric materials [...] Read more.
As a piezoelectric material, (Bi,Sc)O3-(Pb,Ti)O3 ceramics have been tested and analyzed for sensors and energy harvester applications owing to their relatively high Curie temperature and high piezoelectric coefficient. In this work, we prepared optimized (Bi,Sc)O3-(Pb,Ti)O3 piezoelectric materials through the conventional ceramic process. To increase the output energy, a multilayered structure was proposed and designed, and to obtain the maximum output energy, impedance matching techniques were considered and tested. By varying and measuring the energy harvesting system, we confirmed that the output energies were optimized by varying the load resistance. As the load resistance increased, the output voltage became saturated. Then, we calculated the optimized output power using the electric energy formula. Consequently, we identified the highest output energy of 5.93 µW/cm2 at 3 MΩ for the quadruple-layer harvester and load resistor using the impedance matching system. We characterized and improved the electrical properties of the piezoelectric energy harvesters by introducing impedance matching and performing the modeling of the energy harvesting component. Modeling was conducted for the piezoelectric generator component by introducing the mechanical force dependent voltage sources and load resistors and piezoelectric capacitor connected in parallel. Moreover, the generated output voltages were simulated by introducing an impedance matching technique. This work is designed to explain the modeling of piezoelectric energy harvesters. In this model, the relationship between applied mechanical force and output energy was discussed by employing experimental results and simulation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Theoretical and Experimental Investigations of a Pseudo-Magnetic Levitation System for Energy Harvesting
Sensors 2020, 20(6), 1623; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20061623 - 14 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The paper presents an analytical, numerical and experimental analysis of the special designed system for energy harvesting. The harvester system consists of two identical magnets rigidly mounted to the tube’s end. Between them, a third magnet is free to magnetically levitate (pseudo-levitate) due [...] Read more.
The paper presents an analytical, numerical and experimental analysis of the special designed system for energy harvesting. The harvester system consists of two identical magnets rigidly mounted to the tube’s end. Between them, a third magnet is free to magnetically levitate (pseudo-levitate) due to the proper magnet polarity. The behaviour of the harvester is significantly complicated by a electromechanical coupling. It causes resonance curves to have a distorted shape and a new solution from which the recovered energy is higher is observed. The Harmonic Balance Method (HBM) is used to approximately describe the response and stability of the mechanical and electrical systems. The analytical results are verified by a numerical path following (continuation) method and experiment test with use of a shaker. The influence of harvester parameters on the system response and energy recovery near a main resonance is studied in detail. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Tri-Stable Piezoelectric Vibration Energy Harvester for Composite Shape Beam: Nonlinear Modeling and Analysis
Sensors 2020, 20(5), 1370; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20051370 - 02 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
To reveal the nonlinear mechanism of the tri-stable piezoelectric vibration energy harvester based on composite shape beam (TPEH-C) and its influence on the system response, the nonlinear restoring force and the nonlinear magnetic force are discussed and analyzed in this paper. The nonlinear [...] Read more.
To reveal the nonlinear mechanism of the tri-stable piezoelectric vibration energy harvester based on composite shape beam (TPEH-C) and its influence on the system response, the nonlinear restoring force and the nonlinear magnetic force are discussed and analyzed in this paper. The nonlinear magnetic model is acquired by using equivalent magnetizing current theory, and the nonlinear resilience model is obtained by fitting experimental data. The corresponding distributed parameter model based on generalized Hamiltonian variation principle has been established. Frequency response functions for the TPEH-C are derived according to harmonic balance expansion, and the influence of different magnet distances and different excitation accelerations on the response amplitude and bandwidth of the TPEH-C are investigated. More importantly, the correctness of the theoretical analysis is verified by experiments. The results reveal that the spectrum of composite beam shows hard characteristic and the depth of potential well is changed, which provides a new way to ameliorate the potential well of the TPEH-C. A suitable magnet distance enables the TPEH-C to improve the response amplitude and the effective frequency range. The results in this paper have a theoretical guiding significance for the optimal design and engineering application of the TPEH-C. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of a Cantilevered Piezoelectric Energy Harvester in Different Orientations for Rotational Motion
Sensors 2020, 20(4), 1206; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20041206 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
This paper investigates a piezoelectric energy harvester that consists of a piezoelectric cantilever and a tip mass for horizontal rotational motion. Rotational motion results in centrifugal force, which causes the axial load on the beam and alters the resonant frequency of the system. [...] Read more.
This paper investigates a piezoelectric energy harvester that consists of a piezoelectric cantilever and a tip mass for horizontal rotational motion. Rotational motion results in centrifugal force, which causes the axial load on the beam and alters the resonant frequency of the system. The piezoelectric energy harvester is installed on a rotational hub in three orientations—inward, outward, and tilted configurations—to examine their influence on the performance of the harvester. The theoretical model of the piezoelectric energy harvester is developed to explain the dynamics of the system and experiments are conducted to validate the model. Theoretical and experimental studies are presented with various tilt angles and distances between the harvester and the rotating center. The results show that the installation distance and the tilt angle can be used to adjust the resonant frequency of the system to match the excitation frequency. Full article
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