Design and testing of a kinetic energy harvester embedded into an oceanic drifter
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European Commission's projectMELOA - Multi-purpose%2FMulti-sensor Extra Light Oceanography Apparatus (EC-H2020-776825)
A novel Kinetic Energy Harvester (KEH) has been developed for powering oceanic undrogued drifters. It consists on a double pendulum system capable of transforming the wave oscillations into rotation on a flywheel. This rotation is converted into DC current by an electrical generator and further processed by a power management unit (PMU). The PMU includes a “maximum power point tracking” system to maximize energy production by the generator. An oceanic drifter has also been designed to embed the KEH and a custom-made measurement system to perform real sea tests. It counts on an Inertial Measurement Unit to study the motion of the drifter and an embedded measurement system to estimate the rotation speed of the generator and the power at both the input and output of the PMU. A Wi-Fi connection is also included for data transfer at short distances. The generator was firstly characterized at the laboratory; the drifter was then placed on a linear shaker to assess its performance. Finally, the drifter was deployed in a controlled sea area with average values of wave height and frequency of 1.43 m and 0.29 Hz, respectively. In these conditions, the drifter showed horizontal and vertical oscillations with peak-to-peak accelerations of 0.8 g and power spectra centered around 1.5 Hz and 1 Hz, respectively. As a result, the KEH generated a mean output power of 0.18 mW, with peaks of 2.5 mW.
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CitationCarandell, M. [et al.]. Design and testing of a kinetic energy harvester embedded into an oceanic drifter. "IEEE sensors journal", 28 Febrer 2020.
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