Wireless power: Vibration generator runs remote devices for free

By Control Engineering Staff November 16, 2006

Wireless sensors and instrumentation are great for remote locations where cabling is not practical, but if there’s no wire, how do you get power to the device? Batteries are an obvious choice, but they go flat eventually. Microgenerators offer a means to harvest wasted energy—even vibrations from equipment—to power small devices. Perpetuum has launched its new generation of microgenerators that convert vibrations into useful energy.

The PMG17 microgenerator reportedly offers key advantages over the earlier PMG7, including operation at lower vibration levels and across a wider range of frequencies. These units don’t put out a huge amount of energy, but enough to power a typical wireless transmitter sending up to 6 kbytes of monitoring data every few minutes, or smaller amounts of data, such as a temperature reading, several times a second.

‘This technology is continuing to prove itself following the launch of our first generation microgenerator earlier this year,’ says Roy Freeland, CEO. ‘This new product allows users to gain valuable data from levels of vibration that are 35% lower than previously possible.’

Microgenerators operate best at specific frequencies, so they are tuned to respond to vibrations typically created by 60 Hz induction and synchronous motors commonly used in industrial applications. Units can be installed in any position and require no maintenance.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Peter Welander , process industries editor