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STTR Phase I: Harvesting Walking Energy for Mobile Electronics

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0712529
Agency Tracking Number: 0712529
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-598
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2006
Award Year: 2007
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
60 E. Hazelwood Dr., 6745 HOLLISTER AVENUE, Champaign, IL, 61822
DUNS: 141623327
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Brian Kuhn
 Mr
 (217) 344-6044
 b.kuhn@smartsparkenergy.com
Business Contact
 Brian Kuhn
Title: PhD
Phone: (217) 344-6044
Email: b.kuhn@smartsparkenergy.com
Research Institution
 Univ of IL Champaign
 Patrick L Chapman
 1901 South First St
Urbana, IL, 61801-3405
 (217) 333-4994
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I research project will research and develop devices that harvest energy during walking, thereby displacing some use of batteries and frequent recharging. This project involves the design, optimization, and testing of a biomechanical energy generator. The major technical challenges are high power output, efficient power management, and low mass as well as improved human efficiency. This effort requires synthesis of electromechanical, electronic, and bio-mechanical disciplines. Advanced computer modeling, as well as innovative electro-mechanical design, is required as this area of work is relatively little researched. Small electric generators, connected to loads through sophisticated power electronics would provide an alternative power source. The project seeks to minimize the parasitic weight of such a generating device while also providing electrical power storage and utilization. In addition, the effort would seek to optimize the effects of the other human loading such as carrying efficiency. The growing use of portable electronic devices, such as cellular phones, personal digital assistants, laptops, music players, and so forth, has caused increasing demand for mobile power delivery. Power is a limiting factor in the use of mobile devices, which is currently served mainly by lithium-ion batteries that are nearing their practical limits. By harvesting energy normally wasted from ordinary human activity, this problem may be alleviated. This project will impact the availability of the required energy for the wearable electronic devices without any disposal requirement, temperature sensitivity (fuel cell alternatives have high temperature), and availability of electrical outlet within easy access. The proposed electricity generation technique would give field scientists, explorers, and disaster relief workers freedom from the heavy weight of replacement batteries and thus extends their ability to operate in remote areas.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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