EPSRC Energy Harvesting Network

Related Projects

This page identifies major projects that are being undertaken in the area of Energy Harvesting.

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Smart Multifunctional ARchitecture & Technology for Energy-aware

Investigators: Meiling Zhu, Paul Kirby ,

Funded by: EPSRC




Project Summary: The overall vision of the project is to develop comprehensive knowledge and an innovative methodology in the areas of energy autonomous wireless systems from a global system perspective, enabling self-powered, battery-free wireless sensing nodes to meet a wide range of structural health monitoring (SHM) applications. The research vision builds on the project partners complementary skills and strengths in the area of 'towards zero-power ICT' with the potential to lead to multiple scientific and technical breakthroughs.

This project is funded by EPSRC, around ������£0.6M research funding to Cranfield University, via the Call from the European Coordinated Research on Long- term challenges in Information and Communication Sciences and technologies. The project is coordinated by LAAS-CNRS in France and another partner is from the University of Barcelona.



Development of Integrated Energy Harvesting Technology with Wireless Sensing For On-line Monitoring of Aircraft Structure Loading Condition(H-WiSe-MAS)

Investigators: Meiling Zhu, Michele Pozzi, Stewart Williams , Isidro Durazo-Cardenas , Xiang Zhang ,

Funded by: EPSRC via Cranfield Cranfield Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre (IMRC)




Project Summary: The aim of this H-WiSe-MAS project is to design and build a demonstrator that integrates energy harvesting technology with sensing and wireless communication for on-line monitoring of aircraft structure loading condition.
The Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting (PEH) Group within the Microsystems and Nanotechnology Centre at Cranfield University, through the Cranfield Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre (IMRC) financial support (IMRC-137) between 2009 and 2010, has designed and prototyped PEH devices with a cantilever structure, and achieved a maximum output power of 370microW/cm3 at 15.5 volts into a 325 kilo-ohm resistive load at the resonant frequency of 87Hz and under an acceleration of 0.23g. The achieved power value has the potential of powering wireless sensors and wireless communication sensing networks.
This H-WiSe-MAS project will be the follow-on research of Project IMRC-137 to demonstrate energy harvesting technology capability in wireless sensing application, where the wireless sensing application is chosen to be aircraft wing health management. A wing must be allowed to twist and bend under the stresses encountered in flight. Vibration and flutter cause reductions in strength. Wings have to bear particularly large loads during takeoff and landing cycles, which may lead to fatigue and cracks.
Furthermore, this H-WiSe-MAS project links with the Cranfield Institute of Vehicle Health Monitoring (IVHM) primary objectives. As IVHM will carry out research on air vehicle health monitoring, thousands of on-board sensors will be required for (i) reliable detection, diagnosis and prognosis of system/component degradation or damage, and (ii) verifiable prevention of the network from failure. Most sensors in the air vehicle health monitoring will require independent power sources, and hence will depend on energy harvesting for their deployment.



Next Generation Energy-Harvesting Electronics: Holistic Approach

Investigators: Bashir Al-Hashimi, Tom Kazmierski, Neil White, Steve Beeby, Geoff Merrett, Alex Weddell, Leran Wang (Phil), Eric Yeatman, Paul Mitcheson, Alex Yakovlev, Bernard Stark, Koushik Maharatna, Alex Bystrov, Anisha Mukherjee, Delong Shang, Fei Xia,
Industrial Partners: QinetiQ, Diodes Incorporated, ARM, NXP, Mentor Graphics,
Funded by: EPSRC EP/G067740/1 EP/G066728/1 EP/G06881X/1 EP/G070180/1
Further Information: http://www.holistic.ecs.soton.ac.uk/



Project Summary: There is now a consensus that we are entering the era of electronics powered, or at least augmented by, energy harvesters. Future self-powered applications will require electronic systems that are more complex and more compact but also intelligent, adaptive and able to perform more computation with less energy.

The EPSRC has provided 1.6 Million pounds of funding to this project, which is developing ultra energy-efficient electronic systems for emerging applications including mobile digital health, and autonomous wireless monitoring in environmental and industrial settings. The project involves four universities (the University of Southampton, Newcastle University, Imperial College, and the University of Bristol) which will undertake the three-year collaborative research project in partnership with five industrial companies: QinetiQ, Diodes Incorporated, ARM, NXP and Mentor Graphics.

This research joins up three different research fields, including energy harvesting and MEMS processing methods, low-power embedded computing systems, and electronic design automation. The new design methodology will be incorporated into a novel mixed-technology domain modelling and performance optimization design toolkit. This design approach is fundamental to ultra energy-efficient design and to the miniaturisation of next-generation wireless electronics.



Energy Harvesting Technologies for Self-Powering Condition Monitoring Sensors

Investigators: Dr Martin Judd,
Industrial Partners: National Grid,
Funded by: National Grid plc




Project Summary: Condition monitoring plays an increasingly important role in asset management. New technology and advances in sensors enable us to understand more about the health of electrical plant and thus make optimal asset management decisions. Minimising the workload for installation and maintenance of these sensors and removing the need for cables and batteries are the key aspects of â??fit and forgetâ?? functionality. Power requirements for many types of electronic sensing devices deployed on HV equipment at substations are minimal. However, supplying this energy from batteries or a remote DC power source is at best inconvenient. This is something of a paradox for devices located in an environment through which massive quantities of electrical energy flow. The diminishing power requirements of wireless sensing devices makes feasible the development of self-powered sensors, which could operate without batteries by harnessing energy from ambient electric and magnetic fields. Generic energy harvesting modules of this type could support any sensors that have low-power internal electronics for signal processing and communication.

This project is concerned with investigating and developing energy harvesting power modules based on capacitive and/or inductive coupling with the 50 Hz fields inherent within electricity transmission substations. The goal is to prototype a generic technology capable of powering active sensors that monitor the status, health and condition of electrical plant. Trial applications are planned in which the technology will be used to power wireless sensors for simple data acquisition and transfer applications in monitoring of HV equipment at electrical substations.



Metrology for Energy Harvesting

Investigators: Alexandre Cuenat, Professor Markys G Cain, FIMMM, CPhys, Torsten Funk (PTB), Alexandre Bounouh (LNE), Mauro Zucca (INRIM), Martti Heinonen (MIKES), Petr Klapetek (CMI), Rado Lapuh (SIQ),

Funded by: European Metrology Research Programme & national metrology research programmes
Further Information: http://emrp-metrology-for-energy-harvesting.blogspot.com/



Project Summary: A research collaboration bringing together Europe's expertise in measurement, energy harvesting and systems engineering. Partners include seven European national measurement institutes, with connections to industry.

We welcome collaboration, samples and comment, particularly from industry.
Contact:
Alexandre.Cuenat@npl.co.uk (thermoelectric)
Markys.Cain@npl.co.uk (piezoelectric)

Energy sources of interest:
- Thermoelectric
- Piezoelectric
- Magnetostriction
- Electrostatic

Energy range of interest:
- Medium energy range (W to kW) down to low power requirements (���¼W to mW)

Objective:
Address challenges involved in developing traceable measurements and standards (particularly vibrational and thermal EH) to provide Europe with the metrological framework, technical capability, and scientific knowledge to enable the development of effective, commercially successful EH technologies.

Scientific and technological aims:
1. Establish definitions and measurement techniques that permit assessment of efficiency and effectiveness of energy harvesting technologies in different applications

2. Develop the metrology framework to provide essential, traceable and reliable measurement data required for new product development process, including:
- Measurement of basic materials, thermal, mechanical and electrical properties that relate to energy
- Measurement of the transduction of thermal or vibrational energy into useful electrical quantities
- Development of AC/DC transfer techniques for small non-sinusoidal signals

3. Establish the metrological links between nano-scale device structures (defining the physical and chemical properties of suitable materials with nanometre sensitivity) and performance of microscale devices (transduction ratios, coupling, energy, and power measurement)




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