Research Papers

Design, Simulation, and Testing of Energy Harvesters With Magnetic Suspensions for the Generation of Electricity From Freight Train Vibrations

[+] Author and Article Information
Giorgio De Pasquale

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24–10129, Torino, Italygiorgio.depasquale@polito.it

Aurelio Somà

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24–10129, Torino, Italyaurelio.soma@polito.it

Nicolò Zampieri

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24–10129, Torino, Italynicolo.zampieri@polito.it

J. Comput. Nonlinear Dynam 7(4), 041011 (Jun 22, 2012) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006920 History: Received October 26, 2011; Revised May 22, 2012; Published June 22, 2012; Online June 22, 2012

The constant spread of commercial trades on railways demand development of alternative diagnostic systems, which are suitable to applications without electric supply and convenient for the industrial development and diffusion, which means low cost, good reliability, and high integrability. Similarly, it is possible to install navigation and traceability systems (for instance, by the use of global positioning systems—GPS—transmitters) to control on demand the travel history of the train and even that of each coach separately. Recent studies demonstrated the possibility to generate directly onboard the electric power needed to the supply of simple diagnostic systems based on low power sensors and integrated wireless transmission modules. The design of this kind of generators is based on the idea of converting the kinetic energy of train vibration to electric energy, through appropriate energy harvesters containing electromechanical transducers dimensioned ad hoc. The goal of this work is to validate the design procedure for energy harvesters addressed to the railway field. The input vibration source of the train has been simulated through numerical modeling of the vehicle and the final harvester prototype has been tested on a scaled roller rig. The innovative configuration of magnetic suspended proof mass is introduced in the design to fit the input vibration spectra of the vehicle. From the coupled study of the harvester generator and the vehicle, the effective output power of the device is predicted by means of a combination of experimental and simulation tests. The generator demonstrated the ability to supply a basic sensing and transceiving node by converting the kinetic energy of a train vibration in normal traveling conditions. The final device package is 150 × 125 × 95 mm, and its output voltage and current are 2.5 V and 50 mA, respectively, when the freight train velocity is 80 km/h. The corresponding output power is almost 100 mW.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Electromagnetic energy harvester for the vibration energy conversion (a) and detail of the integrated sensing platform with sensors and wireless transceiver (b)

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Figure 2

Schematic layout of the energy harvester with double (a) and single (b) levitating suspension

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Figure 3

Magnetic force transferred by each suspension (a) and total magnetic force in case of double suspension (b)

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Figure 4

Decomposition of the random signal in harmonic components for the measurement of the electric power generated

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Figure 5

The approach of analysis

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Figure 6

Experimental curve of suspension stiffness (a); phase diagram from 2 to 6 Hz with ς = 0.1 constant (continuous line) and experimental measures of phase delay (dots) (b)

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Figure 7

Bogie type Y25 (a) and detail of the Lenoir-link system (b) (7)

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Figure 8

Multibody model of the coach with on board generator realized in SIMPACK environment

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Figure 9

Results of the multibody model: frequency content of the vibration on the coach (a) and generator response (b) at 80 km/h (continuous line), 60 km/h (thick dashed line), and 90 km/h (thin dashed line)

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Figure 10

Excitation force provided by the vibration of the coach (dashed line) at 80 km/h and response of the movable magnet (continuous line)

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Figure 11

System response under harmonic excitation with variable amplitude in resonance condition (4.44 Hz): numerical (continuous line)—experimental (dashed line) comparison

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Figure 12

Output voltage (a) and electric current (b) of the generator mounted on the coach of a train moving at 80 km/h velocity



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