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Low-Cost Vibration Power Harvesting for Industrial Wireless Sensors

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2005 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
KCF Technologies, Inc
336 South Fraser Street State College, PA 16801-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2005
Title: Low-Cost Vibration Power Harvesting for Industrial Wireless Sensors
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-04ER86189
Award Amount: $743,627.00


75353-Low cost, self-powered wireless sensors that never require battery changing or other maintenance are needed for U.S. industrial production lines, in cars and buildings, and power generation systems. Systems of these sensors will enable a revolution in industrial efficiency, safety, and reduced maintenance costs. This project will develop a wireless sensor with an integrated vibration-power-harvesting piezoelectric unit. The key features of the proposed technology are a structurally isolated vibration-based piezoelectric element and an integrated energy-scavenging circuit. The piezoelectric device converts mechanical vibration energy from the structure to electrical energy. The integrated scavenging circuit rectifies and stores the converted electrical energy. Optimal design of both features will maximize power harvesting in the smallest possible package. The device will be fully self-contained, low cost, simple to install, and maintenance free for its usable life. Phase I will develop and demonstrate the power-harvesting module and scavenging circuit. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: A turnkey system of wireless sensors, which never needs battery replacement, should provide: (1) improved industrial production efficiency; (2) reduction of total life cycle costs for industrial sensing by permanently eliminating wires and batteries; (3) increased safety and security via greatly expanded sensing of machinery and equipment; (4) expanded sensing and communication functions for many radio-frequency applications with the integrated power-harvesting unit; and (5) reduced industrial pollution via continuous wireless sensing in harsh environments where wired-sensors were not feasible.

Principal Investigator:

Jeremy E. Frank

Business Contact:

Jeremy E. Frank
Small Business Information at Submission:

Kcf Technologies, Inc.
119 S. Burrows Street State College, PA 16801

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Pennsylvania State University
157 Hammond
University Park, PA 16802
Contact: Gary Koopmann
Contact Phone: (814) 865-2761
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university