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Environment – Changing Vibrations into Electricity with the Use of a Spring

Shifting Priorities to the Use of Vibrations to Generate Electric Power

When standing on a bridge, it is not uncommon to feel the structure sway as vehicles drive by. In this regard, we encounter a variety of vibrations as we go about our daily business. For the most part, vibrations have been considered unnecessary. If anything, vibrations are something that we could do without. Mitsubishi Electric Engineering Co., Ltd. (MEE), on the other hand, has shifted its priority on vibrations, which are generally considered a nuisance, to a more positive focus. The company sees vibrations as an energy source.

Electromagnetic induction is the basic principle and premise underpinning the conversion of vibrations into electric energy. It refers to the phenomenon when electricity is generated by moving a magnet inside a coil. How then can electromagnetic induction be used to generate electricity from vibrations? The answer lies in the originality of this technology and its development. In reality, a spring plays the role of a power generating unit. Springs, which fulfill several functions including the absorption of shock in a variety of devices, are not only characterized by their ability to extend and contract. Springs also sway when placed in contact with other items that sway, a phenomenon that is referred to as sympathetic vibration. Springs that are in a constant state of sympathetic vibration are fragile. The general consensus, therefore, has been to minimize the sympathetic vibration of machinery as much as possible. MEE, on the other hand, looked toward using this phenomenon to amplify vibrations.

The vibration amplification spring was developed as a result of this approach. This spring exhibits sensitive sympathetic vibration toward external oscillations. Thanks largely to proprietary research into the quality of materials and configuration, there is no danger of the spring breaking despite vibrating continuously for lengthy periods. The vibration amplification spring is used to encircle a magnet and moved fastidiously in an upward and downward motion. This in turn creates electromagnetic induction resulting in electricity. This is the mechanism for vibration power generation utilizing sensor movements.

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