Environment – Endless Possibilities of Wireless Sensors that Utilize Vibration Power Generation
Bridges, Railways, Tunnels, Construction Sites: Active Wherever Vibrations Can Be Found
There are many locations and instances where vibrations occur on a constant basis. In addition to bridges, locations include railways, the areas under elevated structures of roads, inside tunnels, constructions sites, and areas around large-scale machinery at factories. Each of these locations and instances are a potential source of energy for wireless sensors that utilize vibration power generation. By designing optimal vibration amplification springs that match the level of vibration at each location, steps can be taken to further enhance power generation efficiency. Larger or conversely smaller springs can be designed depending on the place of installation.
Currently, sensors are used to measure and monitor temperature, humidity and luminance. Looking ahead, potential exists for various other applications including noise, odor, transparency, pressure, velocity, obstacles and event vibrations themselves which serve as a source for electric energy. At the same, the area receiving vibrations (the power generating portion) and the area setting the sensor in motion can be separate. For example, the power generated by the vibrations of engines and motors can be used to measure wheel and roof data.
The potential of wireless sensors that utilize vibration power generation is indeed endless, particularly when considering the many possible combinations of the various options available. A significant number of companies from a wide range of industries together with various government agencies have shown a keen interest in this technology. Several joint studies have already commenced with an eye toward commercialization. While weak in nature, vibrations as a source of energy exist in every possible location. The day when the full potential of this new technology is realized may be closer than we think.