This is a perfect application for energy harvesting. With it, the vehicle uses no onboard energy source to power the TPM system, other than the tires themselves. Another great energy harvesting story, Liz.
I had to laugh when I first read your post Nadine because I went bike riding this evening and kept at a pretty good pace, so my first thought was that my rapid heart beat could have provided the mechanical energy for a heart monitor but then I realized you meant the vibration caused by the impact/motion of the runner's feet going up and down with impact.
Yes, I thought it was clever, too, Rob. I think this is the way forward and a lot of researchers are thinking this way--to use vibrations and other movements or even sounds or heat from vehicle parts to power sensors on the vehicle itself. There is also work to do something similar with thermal energy on airplanes.
That's a good idea, Nadine. There is actually a lot of research right now to have devices power themselves through vibration or other methods. I've done some stories about harvesters on airplanes that use thermal energy to power sensors...and also energy harvesters on shock absorbers on cars that use vibration. I think there are a lot of applications for this. Maybe our readers can think of others.
Thanks, Chuck. I'm sure I will have more energy harvesting stories in the future! But you're right, sensors on vehicles are a great application of this. It's kind of a no brainer, and I expect we'll see more of this type of thing in the future.
Given the developments in energy harvesting solutions, I take it that reliability is not an issue. I would also guess from these developments that using the energy that drives the other devices on the car is not an option here.
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