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12 comments

Vibration Harvesting — Feast or Famine?

Posted February 24, 2011 7:35 AM

There have been a lot of articles lately touting the "green" benefits of energy-harvesting devices, but the only practical applications that come to mind have the devices attached to vibrating motors and powering small, low-power wireless sensors. Sure that's a cool idea and could save on wiring and batteries and provide a trickle of power, but is that what all the green buzz is about? How many different ways can you think of to use such devices to make a dent in power generation to actually earn the title of "green"?

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#1

Re: Vibration Harvesting — Feast or Famine?

02/25/2011 3:22 AM

They are absolutely no use for 'power' generation.
They may be handy for generating v small amounts of power for instrumentationor such like in places where no convenient power source is present. So that's somewhere dark with no mains supply that's inaccessible for battery changes.
Del

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#2

Re: Vibration Harvesting — Feast or Famine?

02/25/2011 11:57 AM

no idea about the green aspects

the ability to add remote sensors with out having to run power, makes it handy to acquire more data points...

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#3

Re: Vibration Harvesting — Feast or Famine?

02/25/2011 4:34 PM

I like the idea of embedding them in highways to power the streetlights. Maybe they could be put into entertainment venues and shopping malls to offset some of the energy costs. If they become efficient, durable, and inexpensive, I think they could actually have quite an impact on the energy scene.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Vibration Harvesting — Feast or Famine?

02/25/2011 5:16 PM

See comment #1

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Vibration Harvesting — Feast or Famine?

02/25/2011 5:28 PM

Yes, I read comment #1. Much as it pains me to disagree with the friendly feline, I think vibration harvesting has great promise -- providing, as I stipulated, that the devices become efficient, cheap, and rugged.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Vibration Harvesting — Feast or Famine?

02/25/2011 5:54 PM

Piezoelectric devices aren't new or very efficient

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Vibration Harvesting — Feast or Famine?

02/25/2011 6:17 PM

The energy harvesting application is new. The underlying technology is not limited to piezoelectrics. And I have great faith in the engineering community's ability to continually improve technology; that's what engineering is all about!

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Vibration Harvesting — Feast or Famine?

02/25/2011 6:53 PM

The have a look here Optimism is fine, but there is no free lunch

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Vibration Harvesting — Feast or Famine?

02/25/2011 7:18 PM

No free lunch -- but plenty of wasted energy to be harvested, and plenty of brain-power being spent on research. I respect the opinions presented in the previous discussion, but I don't share the pessimism. Solar energy was totally impractical ten years ago, too, but solar cells have become so much more durable and efficient, they now make sense. Farmers abandoned their old windmills when electricity came in; now they're renting out their land to wind farms. I disagree with you, Garthh -- but I'm not betting money on it, either.

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Vibration Harvesting — Feast or Famine?

02/25/2011 7:58 PM

Reality is neither pessimistic or optimistic

It makes more sense to save the energy before it's wasted

there's plenty of good engineering to be done to increase efficiency & reduce waste.

solar & wind are heavily subsidized, the practicality is debatable

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#10

Re: Vibration Harvesting — Feast or Famine?

02/25/2011 7:31 PM

Interesting article from Science Daily:

"...new Energy Harvesting Network being launched could mean virtually unlimited power supplies..."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225084634.htm

Also see several other articles on the same topic.

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#12
In reply to #10

Re: Vibration Harvesting — Feast or Famine?

02/25/2011 8:08 PM

once again just eliminating a few batteries from wireless sensor networks

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