SBIR Phase I: Novel Broadband MEMS Energy Harvesters for Low Frequency Vibration Environments and Applications
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project focuses on the most critical limitation of today's common vibrational energy conversion and harvesting systems that utilize cantilever transducers , which are highly frequency sensitive and operate only over a very narrow band limiting overall efficiency and utilization of energy source. The goal of this proposal is to address the need of developing innovative wide bandwidth, high power density vibration energy harvesters in both macro and micro MEMS forms. These will be further optimized by structural modeling, testing and fabricating proof of concept transducers that efficiently match practical, low frequency, broadband vibrational sources found in real life commercial and industrial environments. The innovative micro MEMS structures will be prototyped using newly developed low cost manufacturable thin film base line cantilever process suitable for a broad range of applications with conventional and autonomous deployment capability. In subsequent and commercialization phases, these structures will be integrated with other system components including power management, wireless communication, storage, and sensor elements for a total energy harvesting system and autonomous sensor solution in practical customer applications. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to realize self-powered or long life autonomous electronic and sensor monitoring systems ,emerging as one of the critical application segments in the coming decade addressing functionality needs of defense, industrial, healthcare and consumer applications. These span wireless sensor networks, remote structural health monitoring, inaccessible temperature and humidity sensing, RFID tags, and implantable biosensors. Reduction in the size and power consumption of sensors and CMOS control and communication circuitry has increased proliferation of remote sensing especially in hazardous and inaccessible environments. Along with the fundamental form factor and active life limitation concern with batteries is their charging and replacement can be tedious and expensive. In spite of large academic and industrial research and product development the large scale and broad based commercial adoption is very limited to date due to over all power efficiency, form factor and cost of the total system that need to be addressed through improvements in fundamental material characteristics, efficient transducer designs fabricated with high volume scalable and manufacturable process and innovative power management storage components for total commercial system products and solutions.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Texas Micropower, Inc.
18803 Fortson Ave. Dallas, TX 75252-2554
Number of Employees: