DEVELOPMENT OF A PROTOTYPE MAGNETOSTRICTIVE ENERGY HARVESTING DEVICE
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To enhance performance and safety, structures of all types are made "smart" with the addition of sensors. These sensors require power, but in some cases conventional power supply methods are inadequate. Ideally, these sensors would convert the available ambient energy into electrical energy. This thesis develops and examines a prototype energy harvesting transducer which converts mechanical vibration into electrical energy. The transducer utilizes the coupling between the magnetic and elastic state of magnetostrictive materials along with a flux-linked coil for conversion of mechanical energy to electrical energy. The examined transducer doesn't affect the stiffness characteristics of the host structure, but as a result its performance is dependant on a resonance condition. Experimental results led to coupled optimization of prestress and magnetic bias. An electric circuit model is proposed and compared to test results. Efficiency calculations prove the current transducer to be inefficient, but possible areas of significant improvement were identified.