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New power generators harness energy from vibrations

October 25, 2013

写真:EH12

Star Micronics has developed 1-1/2 inch devices that can generate power from vibrations. These new devices are based on the emerging technology of energy harvesting(*1).


The newly developed products are electromagnetic induction generators, which use a coil and a magnet. They are yet another achievement of Star Micronics, made possible only with Star's long tradition of miniaturization and micro audio technology. Vibration power generators come in 3 different types: piezoelectric, electrostatic induction, and electromagnetic induction. When used in frequencies typical to human walking, electromagnetic induction will produce more power than the other 2 types.


A plenty of mechanical movements in our surroundings dissipate kinetic energy which have never been used as a source of power; vibrations of machinery and building structures, human body movements in running and walking have gone unharnessed and wasted. Star’s new devices convert these vibrations into usable electrical energy, which can be utilized to drive LED’s and autonomous sensor networks(*2), just to name a few examples. This eliminates the need of battery replacement in many products and systems, and more will make them more air/watertight and resistant to dust.


Vibration energy harvesters need to be tuned to maximize their power generation in accordance with the ambient vibration frequencies. With our longtime design experience in the micro audio devices, especially the computer simulation expertise, Star has optimized each of the 3 products to extract maximum power from the vibrations that they would find in their use: EH12 to human walking, EH13 to motors and other machine vibrations, and EH15 to human running.


Star Micronics now starts marketing activities for the new power generators, and continues to refine their design for optimized commercial products. We hope we could serve our customers in many different applications.



(*1)Energy harvesting is a process that captures small amounts of natural energy that would otherwise be lost and converts them into usable electrical energy; the natural energy here could be light, heat(temperature difference), heat of the earth, sound, and vibration. Energy harvesting raises the possibility of self-powered systems which are ubiquitous, truly autonomous, and without human intervention for energy replenishment.

(*2)Recent growth of the internet and other information infrastructure has been calling for various kind of autonomous interfacing technologies, such as machine to machine (M2M) interface and Internet of Things (IoT) among other things. In order to truly implement these new technologies, however we would need uninterrupted sensor node networks, which are free of power supply concerns. Power cable wiring, battery replacement, and associated maintenance complications could be serious problems there. Energy harvesting is expected to play an important role in truly autonomous, wireless sensor networks.



Features

  • Generate power from vibrations to eliminate battery
  • Customized frequency tuning
  • Orientation optimized to direction of vibration
  • Water resistant


Specification
Description
Model name EH12 EH13 EH15
Resonant frequency Approx. 5Hz Approx. 60Hz Approx. 17Hz
Size 37x25x8 mm 35x30x10 mm 20x45x10 mm
Weight Approx. 12g Approx. 17g Approx. 12g
Maximum output Approx. 2.6 mW / at 0.1 G Approx. 1.8 mW / at 0.1 G Approx. 3.0 mW / at 0.1 G

Applications
 ►Power for wireless sensor modules in monitoring systems

  • Motion detection
  • Buildings/structures
  • Machine operation
  • Security
  • Nursing/assisted living facilities
 ►Power for LED’s used in
  • Shoes, running clothes, work clothes, sports goods, bicycles,Toys, accessories, pet care goods, etc.



<For more information, contact>
Katsuya Ishino
Manager, Strategic Planning Sec.
Technology Administration Dept.
R&D Center
Contact form

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