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Design, modeling and optimization of an m-shaped variable reluctance energy harvester for rotating applications

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Author list: Xu, Ye
Publication year: 2019
Start page: 1280
End page: 1294
Number of pages: 15
ISSN: 0196-8904
View additional information: View in Web of Science™

Abstract
The variable reluctance principle can be used to convert rotational kinetic energy into electrical energy, creating a Variable Reluctance Energy Harvester (VREH) based on electromagnetic induction. This can be used to implement self-sustaining wireless sensors in rotating applications. In this paper, we present and investigate a novel design of a VREH with high volumetric power density that targets low-speed rotating applications. The design uses an m-shaped pole-piece and two opposing magnets. We theoretically analyze key design parameters that influence the VREH’s output power, and relate these parameters to geometrical design factors of the proposed structure. Key design factors include the coil height, the permanent magnet height and the tooth height. A method based on numerical simulations is introduced, enabling to determine the optimal geometrical dimensions of the proposed structure under given size-constraints. The results demonstrate that the method leads to optimal structure configurations, which has been evaluated for different cases and is verified experimentally. Good agreement between numerical simulations and experiments are reported with deviations in output power estimation below 3%. The optimized m-shaped VREH, moreover, provides output power levels sufficient for wireless sensor operation, even in low-speed rotating applications.


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