Andrew Waterbury


University of California, Berkeley
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, 2011
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2008

Brown University
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2006


Vibration Harvesting Using Electromagnetic Transduction
Energy harvesting extends the life of wireless sensor nodes enabling longer deployments and greater application flexibility. Example sources of harvestable vibrational energy are industrial and manufacturing equipment. Vibration harvesting is an enabling technology for condition monitor of high value or critical industrial infrastructure. Condition monitoring can improve asset utilization and eliminate unanticipated failure with potential impacts on manufacturing, paralleling what is already being realized in the aviation industry as a result of G.E. and Rolls Royce implementing condition sensing on their engines. This research explores the design of resonant electromagnetic transducers that convert from mechanical to electrical energy.

A multiple leg, multiple turn beam geometry allows a central platform to resonate at a desired target frequency. Several magnetic circuit designs have been explored for the energy conversion including magnet-coil, coreless motor, and reluctance architectures. Prototype devices have been evaluated on large industrial pump motors supporting microfabrication equipment and a machine tool. 0.2-1.5 mW of unrectified power was harvested from 15-30kW pump motors. 0.9-1.8 mW was harvested from a facemilling metal cutting operation, and it was shown that the 0.4-1 g impulses associated with machine tool rapid axis motion can be a harvestable source of energy. Improved magnetic circuit designs have improved induced voltages by nearly an order of magnitude and made simple rectification viable. Current vibration harvester prototypes have now been deployed on industrial motors and powered a commercial TI-mote as part of a condition monitoring project

Selected Publications

Watebury, A.C. and Wright, P.K. (2012) “Vibration energy harvesting to power condition monitoring sensors for industrial and manufacturing equipment” Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science. [Link]

Waterbury, A.C., Lin, S.D., and Wright, P.K. (2012) “Vibration energy harvesting from the unsprung suspension of a vehicle for asset monitoring using an electromagnetic transducer” In the Proceedings of PowerMEMS 2012, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, Dec. 2-5, 2012. pp 512-515. [Link]


Waterbury, A.C. (2011) “Vibration Harvesting using Electromagnetic Transduction”. [Link]

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