Thanks for that link, Nancy. Every time I've read one of Liz's articles, I've wondered about using energy harvesting to power a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator. But I never considered that the heart itself would provide the current. Great link.
Forgive me if I'm repeating myself, dbell5, but did you see this article I wrote: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=264515
That's the one about the energy-harvesting shock absorbers. Maybe I posted it already in a comment, if shock absorbers already were mentioned, but I am not sure. In any case, you are right that this seems a great place for energy harvesting.
Since shock absorbers were mentioned, I've long thought that there lies an ideal, essentially free, source of recovered energy. Because the very purpose of them is to convert mechanical energy into another form - generally heat - as a means of damping motion, it seems a no-brainer.
With current power management and conversion devices, controlled transformation of suspension motion into electrical energy is looking feasible.
While I agree that tires are a noisy environment I also question the assertions about "shocks" in the tire rotation. There is a flexing motion but that does not fit the normal descriptio for a shock wave. In addition I have a concern about the lifespan of anything attached to the tire's inside surface. While it would be a good location for capturing flexural motion it would also be subject to damage from the tire installation and removal operations. But the concept of powering a tire pressure monitor from vehicle motion is a very good idea. The challenge will be the effort of making sure that the receiver on the vehicle is able to communicate with the tires correctly.
That definitely seems to be the direction this technology is heading, Chuck. It doesn't seem to make sense to try to power MCUs any other way now, especially with the deman for ultra-low-power electronics.
Going by the confidence that Panasonic and Imec are portraying in regard to their new development, it would only be right to assume that the effectiveness of the energy harvested matches the other mainstream sources of energy or even surpasses them. It would be a great disappointment to raise the hopes of car developers before a great backlash.
The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
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