Abstract

This paper describes a friction-driven gyro generator that works under arbitrary vibrations and generates more than 1 W of power. Vibrational generators are energy harvesters that convert environmental vibrations into electrical power via the inertial force of pendulums. In conventional generators that use simple vibration, the power is less than 10 mW for a wearable size because vibrations in the natural environment are as low as 1 Hz. Gyroscopic generators increase the inertial force by rotating a pendulum at high speed and creating a gyro effect. In this generator, a palm-size product that generates 0.1 W and weighs 280 g has already been commercialized, but this device operates only under a particular vibration that synchronizes rotor precession and stalls under random vibration. To solve this problem, in this research, two gimbals and a precession spring are introduced to support the rotor. We developed a prototype generator with straight tracks measuring 16 cm × 11 cm × 12 cm with a mass of 980 g. Under a vibration of 4 Hz and ±20 degrees, power generation of 1.6 W was confirmed. Next, a prototype circular track was made. Power generation of 0.2 W with a vibration of 1 Hz and ±90 degrees was confirmed. Finally, a simple formula to estimate the upper limit of the generation power is derived. It is suggested that the circular-type generator is suitable for low-frequency vibration and can generate twice the power of a straight-type generator.

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