Main content area

Design, simulation and experiment of a novel high efficiency energy harvesting paver

Liu, Mingyi, Lin, Rui, Zhou, Shengxi, Yu, Yilun, Ishida, Aki, McGrath, Margarita, Kennedy, Brook, Hajj, Muhammad, Zuo, Lei
Applied energy 2018 v.212 pp. 966-975
airports, dynamic models, electric power, energy, friction, gears, humans, magnetism, railroads, sports, walking
Harvesting energy from pedestrians can be used to power sensors in smart infrastructure, monitor structural health, and provide environmental sensing data. This paper presents a novel paver that efficiently harvests energy from human walking. Within the paver, a permanent magnetic motor is used as an electric generator. Racks, pinions, gears and a one-way-clutch are employed to convert the up-and-down motion of the paver’s top panel to the unidirectional rotational motion of the electric generator. A flywheel is attached to the electric generator to take full advantage of the theoretically available potential energy during human walking. A dynamic model is developed with the consideration of Coulomb friction, electrical damping and mechanical damping. Based on the model, parameters of the energy harvesting paver are analyzed to optimize the harvested energy from human walking. The experimental results show that, during typical human walking, the energy harvesting paver can produce an average electrical power of 3.6 W, with a peak value of 12 W. The average harvested energy is 1.8 J per step. The roles of the flywheel and electrical load in changing the amount of harvested energy are discussed. The flywheel’s influence to energy harvesting in walking, fast walking and running conditions are compared and discussed. The energy harvesting paver has potential applications in high-volume pedestrian paths and areas such as sport arenas, airports, railway stations, shopping malls, offices and apartment blocks.