Magnetically Actuated MEMS Power Conditioning Circuits for Energy Scavenging in SmartGrid Applications

With the predicted prevalence of the SmartGrid—a wireless sensor network derived from a number of small devices, demand will grow for devices that can: economically perform measurement and control tasks to ensure the stability of the larger grids of electrical energy producers and consumers, as well as permit the transmission of energy from renewable energy sources whose outputs tend to be more variable. The goal of this seed project is to establish the feasibility of electromechanically conditioning the energy obtained from energized conductors to power wireless electrical sensors in SmartGrid applications. Wireless sensor networks are becoming commonplace: for example, companies currently link miniature wireless radios together with sensors to measure and report data in refineries and manufacturing plants. This research is focused on novel devices that will efficiently obtain and store electrical energy scavenged from energized conductors such as common electrical cords and higher voltage power distribution and transmission lines and circuit components.