These tests show feasibility of using energy harvesting for powering various sensors in passenger cars. These tests utilize AmbioMote with a piezoelectric energy harvester. As results show, AmbioMote is capable of capturing microwatt energy created by vibrating environement of a passenger vehicle and converting them into useful measurements.
The following is a picture of the test car:
Energy harvesting from an idling engine
This video demonstrates operation of a wireless temperature/humidity sensor from vibration created by normally idiling engine of a small passenger car. A piezoelectric strip is clamped to the generator bracket. Normal idling of the car engine creates enough power to perform temperature/humidity measurements by a MEMS sensor.
This video shows operation of a wireless sensor powered entirely by vibration on the dashboard of a moving vehicle. The video was shot while driving at 55mph on a smooth, freshly repaved road. The AmbioMote produced as many as 10 measurements per 30 seconds (a measurement every 3 seconds!).
A piezo strip is attached to the dashboard (left upper corner of the video) by a magnetic mount. AmbioMote is powered by the vibrating power strip and sends a temperature reading each time there is enough energy. A different, less energy consuming kind of sensor is utilize as compared to the idling test.
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