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Energy Harvesting Research Group attend Venturefest.

Energy Harvesting Group Demonstrate Novel Research at Venturefest

Energy Harvesting Research Group attend the most cutting edge innovation, technology and entrepreneurship coming out of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.

On 17 June 2019, the University of Exeter Energy Harvesting Research Group attended the Venturefest Southwest 2019 on 17th June. Venturefest South West champions the most cutting edge innovation, technology and entrepreneurship coming out of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. This event brings together talented small enterprise innovators and entrepreneurs from across the region along with investors on the lookout for emerging talent.

In addition to the workshop given by Dr Zheng Jun Chew, the group exhibited their latest successes in energy harvesting research, which included air-flow and strain energy harvesters for structural health monitoring of vehicles and equipment, a wearable shoe-mounted energy harvester, high-efficiency power management circuits, and bespoke wireless sensing technology, attracting wide interests from the attendees.
One of the exhibited devices that attracted most attention was the ‘Spring Step’ footfall energy harvester, which was highlighted on ITV West Country News. Unlike other footfall-based wearable energy harvesters, Spring Step, developed by PhD student David Prichard, requires very little effort from the user but produces an impressive 2.6W of electrical power on average, more than enough to charge a range of portable devices such as a smart phone or GPS.

David attributes the effectiveness of the design to its ability to:

“removal of electronics from the harvester. The energy is converted into an energy state via a mechanical system that produces the ideal input for the transducer. This transducer then outputs a continuous set voltage, thus removing the need for extra electronics such as rectifiers or converters.”

The device includes two lightweight units which clip onto your existing shoes, with thin cables running up to a power unit which sits in a standard backpack. From here, a USB connection allows you to plug in and charge your portable device directly without the need for extra batteries.

Date: 8 July 2019

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