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Power Harvesting: non-rotational mechanical

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Full Member level 6
Aug 18, 2012
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What technology is available to harvest energy from a repetitive (non rotational) mechanical motion, think of a hammer or the bucket of a front end loader etc.?

Some people put a piezo wafer in a shoe to harvest the extremely small electrical output when a person walks or runs in the shoe. The amount of power harvested is so small that it is useless.
Some people put thousands of piezo wafers on a busy sidewalk for a few hours to harvest enough energy to light one LED dimly for a few minutes, almost useless.

A loudspeaker can be used as a microphone and loud noises near it will cause it to produce electricity that can be harvested.
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* On a large scale, ocean waves push racks of paddles back and forth, producing motion which runs electric generators.

* There is an emergency flashlight which you shake back and forth, charging a battery which makes it light.

* Today's self-winding watch contains a tiny piezo unit, powered by random motions of our arm.

* Here is a thread, discussing what sort of device is best for generating electricity from walking motions of an elephant.

Piezo is good for short stroke, high cyclic pressure.
Linear magnet / coil is good for high speed cyclic.
However harvesting power in these ways from a prime
mover seems silly. The example of a front end loader
is particularly bad because you only harvest power
on the changes in force or position, which are slow
and infrequent on such a machine (while you have
a fat motor spinning an alternator, not 2 meters away).

Not everything that could be done, should be done.

This device must be wireless. It needs to store up enough energy to send a BLE message or similar perhaps once an hour when in use. Thought was to capture and store energy and then when there is enough send a transmitter burst.

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