Ultra-Compact Electromagnetic Generator

Technology #12713

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Categories
Researchers
David P. Arnold
Benjamin James Bowers
Managed By
Lenny Terry
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
US Patent 8,729,747

Invention

The University of Florida is seeking companies interested in commercializing a novel, ultra-light device to efficiently harvest energy from motional sources. Although methods for harvesting motional energy exist, the devices used are large and supply extremely limited quantities of energy. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a solution to the problems associated with such devices by creating an AA-battery sized device that passively harvests significantly larger quantities of energy under normal human activities.

Applications

Ultra-compact device which utilizes cylindrical magnets to harvest motional energy for a variety of applications including portable electronics, soldier subsystems, robotic platforms and sensor networks

Advantages

  • Incorporates a rolling magnet design increasing energy harvesting capabilities
  • Offers avenues for miniaturization with sig- nificantly higher power density providing a major competitive advantage over existing inertial energy harvesting devices
  • Useful in a variety of governmental and private sector applications providing multiple market applications
  • Enables energy harvesting over a range of vibrational frequencies and amplitudes without requiring a specific vibrational signature

Technology

The innovative, ultra-compact electromagnetic generator and the method used to construct it are designed to enable high-energy-density motional power sources for portable electronics, soldier subsystems, robotic platforms and sensor networks. The heart of the power source is a free-rolling cylindrical or spherical magnet that generates power in surrounding coils via magnetic induction. The device is designed so external motion causes the magnet to roll freely and thus generate power. This principle has fundamental similarities to consumer shake-light emergency flashlights, but offers avenues for miniaturization and significantly higher power density via rotational, rather than translational, motion. Additionally, the un-tethered, free-rolling magnet enables energy harvesting over a range of vibrational frequencies and amplitudes without requiring a specific vibrational signature. This approach offers significant advantages over previously explored resonant mass-spring-damper energy harvesting systems, which require periodic vibrations at a single specific frequency and exhibit unfavorable scaling for miniaturization.



Related to technologies 12476, 13182