Harvesting energy from the vibration of a passing train using a single-degree-of-freedom oscillator

Gatti, G., Brennan, M.J., Tehrani, M.G. and Thompson, D.J. (2015) Harvesting energy from the vibration of a passing train using a single-degree-of-freedom oscillator Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, 66-67, pp. 785-792. (doi:10.1016/j.ymssp.2015.06.026).


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With the advent of wireless sensors, there has been an increasing amount of research in the area of energy harvesting, particularly from vibration, to power these devices. An interesting application is the possibility of harvesting energy from the track-side vibration due to a passing train, as this energy could be used to power remote sensors mounted on the track for strutural health monitoring, for example. This paper describes a fundamental study to determine how much energy could be harvested from a passing train. Using a time history of vertical vibration measured on a sleeper, the optimum mechanical parameters of a linear energy harvesting device are determined. Numerical and analytical investigations are both carried out. It is found that the optimum amount of energy harvested per unit mass is proportional to the product of the square of the input acceleration amplitude and the square of the input duration. For the specific case studied, it was found that the maximum energy that could be harvested per unit mass of the oscillator is about 0.25 J/kg at a frequency of about 17 Hz. The damping ratio for the optimum harvester was found to be about 0.0045, and the corresponding amplitude of the relative displacement of the mass is approximately 5 mm.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.ymssp.2015.06.026
ISSNs: 0888-3270 (print)
Keywords: energy harvesting, train-induced vibration, time-limited excitation, transient vibration
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Organisations: Signal Processing & Control Grp
ePrint ID: 381760
Date :
Date Event
28 June 2015Accepted/In Press
15 July 2015e-pub ahead of print
January 2016Published
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2015 11:10
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 05:09
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/381760

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