Energy Harvesting Devices for Low Frequency Applications


Executive Summary


One of the major obstacles limiting the development of deployable integrated sensing and actuation solutions in smart structures is the scarcity of power. As the power consumption, speed and size of integrated circuits decrease it becomes increasingly feasible to embed electronics in everyday objects to enhance their performance.  Current energy harvesting methods usually require access to light, heat or vibration.  Energy in low frequency vibrations is commonly, but not accessible with current energy harvesting methods.  It is advantageous to have a device capable of harvesting energy from low frequency sources.


Description of Technology


Michigan State University has developed an energy harvesting device for low frequency applications. The energy harvesting device incorporates a buckling structure that is arranged so that multiple transitions are created in response to a deformation.  A piezoelectric device is connected to the structure. The device transforms low frequency deformation into higher frequency vibrations where piezoelectric energy harvesting is possible.  In this arrangement, the device is able to respond to deformations occurring at a frequency less than one Hertz.


Key Benefits

  • Harness energy from a low frequency source



  • civil and mechanical structures monitoring
  • machinery/equipment monitoring
  • home automation
  • surveillance and security
  • agricultural management
  • long range asset tracking


Patent Status:


Patent Pending US 2014-0070670


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available


Inventors: Rigoberto Burgueno, Nizar Lajnef


Tech ID: TEC2012-0060


Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Raymond Devito
Technology Manager
Michigan State University