|OSU Assistant Professor Ryan Harne|
led the experiment.
Harne's purpose for this research was to find ways of getting minimal energy to power sensors that monitor a structure's integrity, but without those devices needing to be plugged into traditional energy sources. As Harne explains in the Journal of Sound and Vibration:
“Buildings sway ever so slightly in the wind, bridges oscillate when we drive on them and car suspensions absorb bumps in the road,” he said. “In fact, there’s a massive amount of kinetic energyassociated with those motions that is otherwise lost. We want to recover and recycle some of that energy.”This approach to oscillation differs somewhat in Vortex's approach, as it makes the somewhat brilliant move of harvesting kinetic energy off structures already built into surrounding infrastructure. This eliminates the need to construct costly devices built solely to generate oscillating force, as well as battery and transmitters that would normally be needed to power the sensors in the first place.
Harne and his team, whose initial experiments made use of internal resonance to produce such promising results, hope to continue developing the technology in the near future.
Donal Thoms-Cappello is a freelance writer for Rotor Clip Company.