An electromagnetic energy scavenger from direct airflow

Seong Hyok Kim, Chang Hyeon Ji, Preston Galle, Florian Herrault, Xiaosong Wu, Jin Ho Lee, Chang Auk Choi, Mark G. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


This paper presents two types of electromagnetic power generators exploiting direct conversion of airflow into mechanical vibration: (1) a windbelt-based vibratory linear energy scavenger targeting strong airflows and (2) a Helmholtz-resonator-based generator capable of scavenging energy from weaker airflows, i.e. environmental airflows. Both devices consist of two tightly coupled parts: a mechanical resonator, which produces high-frequency mechanical oscillation from quasi-constant airflow, and a permanent magnet/coil system, which generates electrical power from the resonator's motion. The proposed energy scavengers obviate the typically required matching of the resonant frequencies of the scavenger and the ambient energy sources it taps. This enables a device that is simpler, smaller and higher-frequency than the previously reported resonant power generator. The windbelt-based energy scavenger demonstrated a peak-to-peak output voltage of 81 mV at 0.53 kHz, from an input pressure of 50 kPa. The Helmholtz-resonator-based energy scavenger achieved a peak-to-peak output voltage of 4 mV at 1.4 kHz, from an input pressure of 0.2 kPa, which is equivalent to 5 m s-1 (10 mph) of wind velocity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number094010
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2009


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