Energy harvesting from car motion

Published: Friday, 26 December 2014

 We decided to test if we can perform useful sensing from vibrations in a passenger car. Take a look at the results! 

 Energy harvesting in passenger vehicles

 These tests show feasibility of using energy harvesting for powering various sensors in passenger cars. These tests utilize AmbioMote with a piezoelectric energy harvester. As results show, AmbioMote is capable of capturing microwatt-level energy created by vibrating environment of a passenger vehicle and using this energy for useful measurements.

Energy harvesting from an idling engine

 This video demonstrates operation of a wireless temperature/humidity sensor from vibration created by normally idling engine of a small passenger car. A piezoelectric strip is clamped to the generator bracket. Normal idling of the car engine creates enough power to perform temperature/humidity measurements by a MEMS sensor.

Energy harvesting from a car in motion

 This video shows operation of a wireless sensor powered entirely by vibration on the dashboard of a moving vehicle. The video was shot while driving at 55mph on a smooth, freshly repaved road. The AmbioMote produced as many as 10 measurements per 30 seconds (a measurement every 3 seconds!).

 A piezo strip is attached to the dashboard (left upper corner of the video) by a magnetic mount. AmbioMote is powered by the vibrating piezoelectric strip and sends a temperature reading each time there is enough energy. A different, less energy consuming kind of sensor is utilize as compared to the idling test.

 As in previous video each short line on the computer screen is a receiver ping ("I am alive!"). Each long line is a temperature measurement. 




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