Energy Scavenging from Broadband Ambient Vibration Using Sonic Crystal


Reference #1281:

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for a Smart Sonic Crystal used for broadband ambient energy scavenging.



Almost all individuals in the USA will be using some form of electronic gadget (laptops, tablets, cell phones, e-reader, etc.) by 2020. That will increase the energy demand by a factor of ~2 for charging these electronic devices. Currently, there are two main types of energy harvesters on the market: Cantilever Beam type energy harvesters, and Plate type energy harvesters. The primary shortcoming of such harvesters are that they harvest energy from high frequencies (> 10 KHz). Such harvesters are good for MEMS (Microelectromechanical systems) devices where such frequencies can be achieved, but ambient noise could not go to such high frequencies.


Invention Description:

Piezoelectric materials are known to produce electrical current when they are deformed mechanically. Utilizing the feature of piezoelectricity, we propose this invention as a new class of smart metamaterial (Smart Sonic Crystal). This proposed metamaterial would harvest ambient low frequency vibration for charging batteries, such that the ambient energy may become a renewable source of energy to power low-power electronic gadgets on the go.


Potential Applications:

This invention can scavenge and harvest ambient low frequency vibrations as low as ~300 Hz. This ambient energy could become a renewable source of energy to charge low-power electronic gadgets.


Advantages and Benefits:

Conventional energy harvesters are primarily designed for MEMS devices and harvest energy from high frequencies. To harvest energy from low frequencies, the size of such a harvester would need to be of a comparable order to the low frequency wavelengths, making conventional harvesters impractical for use. However, it has been demonstrated that it is not necessary for the material size of sonic crystal to be in the order of a low frequency wavelength in order to stop or filter a certain frequency. We argue that if such small scale material is capable of stopping and filtering lower frequencies with higher wavelength, which are many orders less than their physical size, then the same material with an alternate design should be able to pass and sense certain frequencies. Hence, it is perceived that energy from such frequencies can also be harvested.


Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Power Optimization for a Unit Cell Metamaterial Energy Harvester Utility United States 15/627,817 10,694,466 6/20/2017 6/23/2020   Issued
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Sourav Banerjee
Md Riaz Ahmed
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