Powering Wearable Microelectronics

Wearable low power biometric devices and body sensor network systems (BSNs) such as heart, respiration, and activity monitors are popular devices that are predicted to increase tenfold by 2018. This project focused on biomechanical energy harvesting from rib cage expansion using piezoelectric materials and frequency up conversion to power wearable microelectronics.

Summary of Research

Wearable low power biometric devices and body sensor network systems (BSNs) such as heart, respiration, and activity monitors are popular devices that are predicted to increase tenfold by 2018. These devices use batteries which must be recharged or replaced, but it may be possible to use piezoelectric materials to directly harvest energy from biomechanical movement for powering biometric devices for athletes, medical patients, or for physiological monitoring for military personnel.

The goal of this study was to design a harvester utilizing polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), lead zirconate titanate (PZT), and piezoelectric fiber composites (PFC) using frequency up conversion to maximize biomechanical energy harvesting from continuous motion of rib cage expansion during respiration. This research investigated the optimal material and spacing of the harvester’s plectra to maximize energy output. A motion simulator was designed to model the biomechanical motion of ribcage expansion. Breathing rates were simulated at 12 and 40 breaths per minute with expansion from 2.5 to 5 cm. Voltage output was measured thirty times for each simulation with plectra spacing of 1.4, 1.6, 3.2, 5, 7.5, and 10 mm. Power generation was calculated. Experimental results indicated frequency up conversion was useful in the harvester design for PFC and PVDF. Optimal configurations produced from 109 to 307 μW (using one piezoelectric beam), indicating the piezoelectric harvester is a viable renewable energy source for low power biometric devices and BSNs.

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Powering Wearable Microelectronics

Wearable low power biometric devices and body sensor network systems (BSNs) such as heart, respiration, and activity monitors are popular devices that are predicted to increase tenfold by 2018. This project focused on biomechanical energy harvesting from rib cage expansion using piezoelectric materials and frequency up conversion to power wearable microelectronics.

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2018 ScienceBuzz Symposium

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We are excited to announce the first annual ScienceBuzz Symposium, dedicated to middle and high school students. The conference and registration is completely free! Currently, the symposium date is June 9, 2018.

Pre-register for the symposium by visiting the conference website or clicking here. There are a limited number of seats and we expect to fill up quickly, so register ASAP. The event will include several internationally-renowned speakers, workshop sessions, company exhibitions, scholarships, and research presentations. 

 

The 2018 ScienceBuzz Symposium is the first, completely free conference exclusively for middle and high school students. Our theme for this year is “One Day of Powerful Talks.”

It will be hosted in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, but will include students from around the state and nearby regions. The event will have national guest keynote speakers (including a Nobel Prize Laureate, the head of a leading scientific institution, college admissions officers, university professors, leaders in gifted education, and top biopharma executives). It will also include workshop sessions, student poster presentations, five research scholarship awards, organizational and company exhibitions, and unique networking opportunities.

To learn more about the symposium, agenda, and logistical details, visit our website at www.sciencebuzz.wixsite.com/symposium

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