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Rob Spiegel
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Clever energy harvester
Rob Spiegel   7/23/2013 8:18:21 AM
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I like this Elizabeth. Here's a very good real-world application for environmental energy harvesting. This is a great solution to the problem of providing a power source for tire pressure sensors.

Charles Murray
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Great idea
Charles Murray   7/23/2013 4:45:23 PM
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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.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Great idea
Nancy Golden   7/23/2013 6:49:44 PM
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I like this! Simple and economical using already known technology that does not require an additional power source...and adds to vehicle safety. Can't get much better than this!

NadineJ
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Re: Great idea
NadineJ   7/23/2013 10:51:40 PM
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I agree.  This is really cool.  What else can this be applied to?  Heart monitors for runners?

Nancy Golden
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Re: Great idea
Nancy Golden   7/23/2013 11:20:34 PM
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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.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Clever energy harvester
Elizabeth M   7/24/2013 9:29:40 AM
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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.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Great idea
Elizabeth M   7/24/2013 9:38:00 AM
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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.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Great idea
Elizabeth M   7/24/2013 9:40:53 AM
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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.

NadineJ
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Platinum
Re: Great idea
NadineJ   7/24/2013 11:02:19 AM
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Safety lights for bicycles!  Thanks for sparking that idea Nancy.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Clever energy harvester
Rob Spiegel   7/24/2013 11:41:16 AM
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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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