Energy Harvesting for Self-Powered Sensors for Smart Transportation Infrastructures
Finding an efficient source of energy has always been a big challenge for humans on Earth. Fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, have traditionally been considered as major sources of energy. These energy sources are not only nonrenewable but are also harmful to our health and environment. A large portion of this energy is consumed by vehicles moving daily in big cities, causing significant pollution of the environment. However, the motion of vehicles through the transportation infrastructures can also be a significant source of kinetic energy, which can be harvested to power transportation system components, such as sensors, street lights, signals, etc., thereby reducing some dependence on fossil fuel-derived energy.
This research aims to develop an innovative approach for energy harvesting from transportation infrastructures and demonstrate the feasibility of the approach through laboratory testing and field demonstration. The proposed innovative approach of energy harvesting, termed as electromagnetic energy harvesting system (EMEHSs), can be used to power wireless sensors commonly used for health monitoring of bridges. This EMEHS has expected to be simple, but effective in harvesting kinetic energy and converting it to electric power for wireless sensors. Practical and economic feasibility and field implementation of the device on a bridge will also be investigated in this work. Based on detailed numerical simulations and modeling, a larger-scale device will be first tested in the laboratory and then will be installed on a bridge to demonstrate the technology and its effectiveness in powering typical health monitoring sensors.
Research Objectives & Deliverables
The expected outcome/goals of this research are:
- Detailed Knowledge of modeling and simulation of electromagnetic principles for energy harvesting, including the development of large-scale magnetic arrays of permanent magnets.
- Development and field demonstration of electromagnetic energy harvesting system (EMEHSs) for wireless sensors.
- Development of a research plan to investigate much smaller scale energy harvesters that can be integrated with wireless sensors (without affecting the sensors itself) to create self-powered wireless sensors. This task is really challenging because it will require EMEHS at a much smaller scale and will involve the integration of sensors. Hence, this project will only investigate the feasibility of this concept.
The deliverables for this project include:
- A literature review report on electromagnetic energy, harvesting technology, and their applicability to powering the electronic sensor
- A report on modeling, design, fabrication, and laboratory testing of the proposed device, including advanced knowledge on creating large-scale electromagnetic arrays of permanent magnets
- A field performance report for the device
- A final report for the entire project
|Principal Investigator||Anil K. Agrawal|
|Co-Principal Investigators||Mohsen Amjadian|
|Funding Source||Grove School of Engineering (GSOE) (Release time / student fellowship and tuition fees)|
|Total Project Cost||$110,000|
|USDOT Award #||69A3551747124|
|03/01/2020 – 02/28/2021|
|Implementation of Research Outcomes||Practical and economic feasibility and implementation of the EMEHS will be demonstrated through detailed test in the laboratory and field testing of a scaled model of the EMEHS. Research outcomes will also be disseminated through a seminar for City/State DOT engineers.|
|Impacts/Benefits of Implementation||This research will lead to the development of a new generation of self- powered sensors that do not need batteries for operation and can be ubiquitously installed on transportation infrastructures. This will make significant contribution in enabling the concept of smart cities through ubiquitous sensing.|