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Special Issue "Energy Harvester Sensing"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Fabio Viola
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Parco d’Orleans, 90128 Palermo PA, Italy
Interests: electromagnetic compatibility; high voltage; partial discharges; renewable energy; power converters and energy harvesting
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is proposed to encourage further research and development in energy harvester sensing.

New energy harvesting devices are continually invented, based on electromagnetic or mechanical principles, exploiting electronic components to make power available for sensors.

Contributions might refresh the state-of-the-art, point out the benefits of emerging technologies, or investigate the novel schemes and applications.

Original contributions including experimental validation are expected. The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Energy harvesting sensing;
  • Mechanical harvesters;
  • Electromagnetic harvesters;
  • Electronic circuits for the storage.

Dr. Fabio Viola
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • energy harvester
  • sensors
  • piezoelectric effect
  • electromechanical device
  • rectifying circuit
  • autonomous sensors
  • charging (batteries)
  • energy autonomy
  • microsystems

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Energy Harvester Sensing
Sensors 2020, 20(7), 1849; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s20071849 - 26 Mar 2020
Viewed by 733
Abstract
Our existence is immersed in a solution of energy, which is often left to degrade because we perceive this energy as expendable [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Harvester Sensing)

Research

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Article
Kinetic Energy Harvesting for Wearable Medical Sensors
Sensors 2019, 19(22), 4922; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s19224922 - 12 Nov 2019
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2321
Abstract
The process of collecting low-level kinetic energy, which is present in all moving systems, by using energy harvesting principles, is of particular interest in wearable technology, especially in ultra-low power devices for medical applications. In fact, the replacement of batteries with innovative piezoelectric [...] Read more.
The process of collecting low-level kinetic energy, which is present in all moving systems, by using energy harvesting principles, is of particular interest in wearable technology, especially in ultra-low power devices for medical applications. In fact, the replacement of batteries with innovative piezoelectric energy harvesting devices can result in mass and size reduction, favoring the miniaturization of wearable devices, as well as drastically increasing their autonomy. The aim of this work is to assess the power requirements of wearable sensors for medical applications, and address the intrinsic problem of piezoelectric kinetic energy harvesting devices that can be used to power them; namely, the narrow area of optimal operation around the eigenfrequencies of a specific device. This is achieved by using complex numerical models comprising modal, harmonic and transient analyses. In order to overcome the random nature of excitations generated by human motion, novel excitation modalities are investigated with the goal of increasing the specific power outputs. A solution embracing an optimized harvester geometry and relying on an excitation mechanism suitable for wearable medical sensors is hence proposed. The electrical circuitry required for efficient energy management is considered as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Harvester Sensing)
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Article
A Bootstrapped Comparator-Switched Active Rectifying Circuit for Wirelessly Powered Integrated Miniaturized Energy Sensing Systems
Sensors 2019, 19(21), 4714; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s19214714 - 30 Oct 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1076
Abstract
Human life expectancy has gradually increased in part through rapid advances in technology, including the development and use of wearable and implantable biomedical electronic devices and sensing monitors. A new architecture is proposed in this paper to replace the traditional diode circuit implementation [...] Read more.
Human life expectancy has gradually increased in part through rapid advances in technology, including the development and use of wearable and implantable biomedical electronic devices and sensing monitors. A new architecture is proposed in this paper to replace the traditional diode circuit implementation in wireless power supply systems applied to the above-mentioned devices and monitors. By achieving near-ideal power transistor switching and leveraging the characteristics of conventional diodes to prevent reverse current, the proposed approach greatly improves the performance of the energy harvester in power conversion. The MOS harvester used in the uninterrupted permanent wireless near-field power supply described here for use in biomedical systems was designed and verified using the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) standard 180-nm process, achieving performance results of Voltage conversion efficiency (VCE) = 73.55–95.12% and Power conversion efficiency (PCE) = 80.36–90.08% with the output load (0.1–1 kΩ) under 3.3 V ac input with an overall area of 1.189 mm2. These results are expected to create an important technical niche for new “green-energy” miniaturized energy sensing systems including cutting edge wirelessly powered biomedical electronics applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Harvester Sensing)
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Article
Development of a Novel Piezoelectric Harvester Excited by Raindrops
Sensors 2019, 19(17), 3653; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s19173653 - 22 Aug 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1277
Abstract
The impact of raindrops on a dry surface leads to a splashing phenomenon that dissipates a lot of energy. To improve energy collection, a novel piezoelectric raindrop energy harvester equipped with a spoonful of water was developed. The advantages and the drawbacks of [...] Read more.
The impact of raindrops on a dry surface leads to a splashing phenomenon that dissipates a lot of energy. To improve energy collection, a novel piezoelectric raindrop energy harvester equipped with a spoonful of water was developed. The advantages and the drawbacks of this solution were analyzed with the aid of numerical simulations. A series of experimental tests were carried out in a laboratory with simulated raindrops. Experimental results showed that the negative effect of the added water mass was exceeded by the positive effects related to the impact of the raindrop on a liquid surface. Tests carried out connecting the harvester to a resistive load showed that the prototype was able to collect more energy than a simple cantilever harvester. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Harvester Sensing)
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Article
Combined Organic Photovoltaic Cells and Ultra Low Power CMOS Circuit for Indoor Light Energy Harvesting
Sensors 2019, 19(8), 1803; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s19081803 - 15 Apr 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1773
Abstract
This paper describes an energy harvesting system composed of an organic photovoltaic cell (OPV) connected to a DC–DC converter, designed in a 130 nm Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (CMOS) technology, with a quasi- maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm to maximize the system efficiency, for [...] Read more.
This paper describes an energy harvesting system composed of an organic photovoltaic cell (OPV) connected to a DC–DC converter, designed in a 130 nm Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (CMOS) technology, with a quasi- maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm to maximize the system efficiency, for indoor applications. OPVs are an emerging technology with potential for low cost indoor light energy harvesting. The OPV current-voltage curves (I-V) under an irradiance of solar simulator Oriel Sol 3A, at room temperature, are obtained and an accurate electrical model is derived. The energy harvesting system is subjected to four different indoor light sources: 35 W halogen, 3.5 W LED, 5 W LED, and 7 W LED, positioned at three different heights (0.45 m, 0.26 m, and 0.11 m), to evaluate the potential of the system for indoor applications. The measurements showed maximum efficiencies of 60% for 35 W halogen and 45% for 7 W LED at the highest distance (0.45 m) and between 60% (5 W LED) and 70% (35 W halogen), at the shorter distance (0.11 m). Under irradiation, the integrated CMOS circuit presented a maximum efficiency of 75.76%, which is, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, the best reported power management unit (PMU) energy system using organic photovoltaic cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Harvester Sensing)
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Article
A Novel Energy Harvester for Powering Small UAVs: Performance Analysis, Model Validation and Flight Results
Sensors 2019, 19(8), 1771; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s19081771 - 13 Apr 2019
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 1587
Abstract
The proposed work aims at exploring and developing new strategies to extend mission parameters (measured as travel distance and mission duration (MD)) of a new class of unmanned vehicles, named Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs). In this paper, a new analytical model, identifying all [...] Read more.
The proposed work aims at exploring and developing new strategies to extend mission parameters (measured as travel distance and mission duration (MD)) of a new class of unmanned vehicles, named Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs). In this paper, a new analytical model, identifying all factors, which determine the MAV power consumption, is presented. Starting from the new model, the design of a nanoarray energy harvester, based on plasmonics nano-antenna technology is proposed. The preliminary study was based on a 22,066,058 22,066,058 × 62,800-dipole rectenna array producing an output power level of 84.14 mW, and an energy value of 2572 J under a power density of 100 mW/cm² and a resonant frequency of 350 THz as input conditions. The preliminary analytical results show a possible recharge of an ultra-fast rechargeable battery on board of a MAV and an MD improvement of 16.30 min. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Harvester Sensing)
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Article
Secure Transmission for Simultaneous Wireless Information and Power Transfer in AF Untrusted Relay Networks
Sensors 2019, 19(1), 76; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s19010076 - 26 Dec 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1538
Abstract
This paper investigates secure communications of energy harvesting untrusted relay networks, where the destination assists jamming signal to prevent the untrusted relay from eavesdropping and to improve the forwarding ability of the energy constrained relay. Firstly, the source and the destination transmit the [...] Read more.
This paper investigates secure communications of energy harvesting untrusted relay networks, where the destination assists jamming signal to prevent the untrusted relay from eavesdropping and to improve the forwarding ability of the energy constrained relay. Firstly, the source and the destination transmit the signals to the relay with maximal ratio transmission (MRT) technique or transmit antenna selection (TAS) technique. Then, the destination utilizes maximal ratio combining (MRC) technique or receive antenna selection (RAS) technique to receive the forwarded information. Therefore, four transmission and reception schemes are considered. For each scheme, the closed-form expressions of the secrecy outage probability (SOP) and the connection outage probability (COP) are derived. Besides, the effective secrecy throughput (EST) metric is analyzed to achieve a good tradeoff between security and reliability. In addition, the asymptotic performance of EST is also considered at the high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Finally, simulation results illustrate that: (1) the EST of the system with MRT and MRC scheme are superior to other schemes, however, in the high SNR regime, the EST of the system with MRT scheme is inferior to TAS; and (2) for the source node, there exists an optimal number of antennas to maximize the EST of the proposed schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Harvester Sensing)
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Article
An Arc-Shaped Piezoelectric Bistable Vibration Energy Harvester: Modeling and Experiments
Sensors 2018, 18(12), 4472; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s18124472 - 17 Dec 2018
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 1808
Abstract
In order to improve vibration energy harvesting, this paper designs an arc-shaped piezoelectric bistable vibration energy harvester (ABEH). The bistable configuration is achieved by using magnetic coupling, and the nonlinear magnetic force is calculated. Based on Lagrangian equation, piezoelectric theory, Kirchhoff’s law, etc., [...] Read more.
In order to improve vibration energy harvesting, this paper designs an arc-shaped piezoelectric bistable vibration energy harvester (ABEH). The bistable configuration is achieved by using magnetic coupling, and the nonlinear magnetic force is calculated. Based on Lagrangian equation, piezoelectric theory, Kirchhoff’s law, etc., a complete theoretical model of the presented ABEH is built. The influence of the nonlinear stiffness terms, the electromechanical coupling coefficient, the damping, the distance between magnets, and the load resistance on the dynamic response and the energy harvesting performance of the ABEH is numerically explored. More importantly, experiments are designed to verify the energy harvesting enhancement of the ABEH. Compared with the non-magnet energy harvester, the ABEH has much better energy harvesting performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Harvester Sensing)
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