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Human passive motions and a user-friendly energy harvesting system
journal contributionposted on 2014-05-01, 00:00 authored by Hamid AbdiHamid Abdi, Navid Mohajer, Saeid Nahavandi
Energy harvesting for wireless sensors and consumer electronic devices can significantly improve reliability and environmental sustainability of the devices. This is achieved by eliminating the dependency of these devices on rechargeable batteries, using clean and/or renewable energy sources. Energy harvesting from various energy sources is widely discussed among researchers and entrepreneurs, including harvesting energy from microscale phenomena. This topic is receiving increasing attention due to the rising numbers of low-power consumer electronic devices and wireless sensors, but also the increasing demand for more convenient and available devices. This article presents a feasibility study for an energy harvesting system based on a human's breathing motion. The system is based on a modified pants belt that is integrated with an array of piezoelectric films and a harvesting circuit. The proposed energy harvester generates electricity from reciprocal abdominal motions of the human subject. In comparison with existing breathing-based energy harvesters, the proposed system allows for safe and convenient energy harvesting with no influence on the natural movement of the lungs. Stomach pressure analysis and measurement, as well as the design and simulations of the proposed harvester, are presented. © 2013 The Author(s).