“Applications of Energy Harvesting”

Daniel Inman, Ph.D. Chair & “Kelly” Johnson Collegiate Professor Aerospace Engineering University of Michigan

Friday, November 15, 2013 – 3:00 p.m.

Warnock Engineering Bldg. (WEB) 2230 Reception to follow at 4:00 p.m.

Abstract:  This talk introduces the basics of harvesting energy from ambient vibrations using piezoelectric materials. The basic principles are then used to explain several applications that benefit from using harvested energy.  The amounts of energy are relatively low, but this energy can be used to provide significant power for several diverse applications including: sensor systems for structural health monitoring, active gust alleviation in UAVs and running a heart pacemaker. Most piezoelectric based energy harvesting systems are based on linear resonance of the harvesting structure, which is usually a cantilever beam.  Linear beam resonance presents two problems.  The first is that linear resonance is a narrowband phenomenon and much of the ambient energy available to harvest is broadband in nature.   The second problem is that linear beam resonance scales with the length of the beam in such a way that as the smaller the harvesting beam is the larger its resonance is, making small scale harvesting impractical.  Solutions to both these problems are presented. The amount of energy harvested depends of course on the amount of ambient energy available to harvest. Two applications are presented that have the potential for practical application.

Bio: Daniel J. Inman received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Mechanical Engineering in 1980 and spent 14 years at the University of Buffalo, followed by 19 years at Virginia Tech. He is currently the Chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan. Since 1980, he has published eight books (on vibration, control, statics, dynamics and energy harvesting), eight software manuals, 20 book chapters, 300 journal papers and 555 proceedings papers, given 56 keynote or plenary lectures, graduated 57 Ph.D. students and supervised more than 75 MS degrees.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Mechanics (AAM), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the International Institute of Acoustics and Vibration (IIAV), and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He is currently Technical Editor of the Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures (1999- ).  He was awarded the ASME Adaptive Structures Award in April 2000, the ASME/AIAA SDM Best Paper Award in April 2001, the SPIE Smart Structures and Materials Life Time Achievement Award in March of 2003, the ASME/Boeing Best Paper Award by the ASME Aerospace Structures and Materials Technical Committee 2007, the ASME Den Hartog Award in 2007 and the Life Time Achievement award in Structural Health Monitoring in 2009.  He has served as a Member-at-Large on the Society of Experimental Mechanics Executive Board (2008-2010) and a former Chair of the ASME Applied Mechanics Division.