Electromagnetic Energy Harvesting

  • Stephen P Beeby
  • Terence O’Donnell


This chapter focuses on the use of electromagnetic transducers for the harvesting of kinetic (vibration) energy. The chapter introduces the fundamental principals of electromagnetism and describes how the voltage is linked to the product of the flux linkage gradient and the velocity. The flux linkage gradient is largely dependent on the magnets used to produce the field, the arrangement of these magnets, and the area and number of turns for the coil. The characteristics of wire-wound and micro-fabricated coils, and the properties of typical magnetic materials, are reviewed. The scaling of electromagnetic energy harvesters and the design limitations imposed by micro-fabrication processes are discussed in detail. Electromagnetic damping is shown to be proportional to the square of the dimension and analysis shows that the decrease in electromagnetic damping with scale cannot be compensated by increasing the number of turns. For a wire wound coil, the effect of increasing coil turns on EM damping is directly cancelled by an increase in coil resistance. For a planar micro-coil increasing the number of turns results in a greater increase in the coil resistance, resulting in an overall decrease in damping. Increasing coil turns will, however, increase the induced voltage which may be desirable for practical reasons. An analysis is also presented that identifies the optimum conditions that maximise the power in the load. Finally, the chapter concludes with a comprehensive review of electromagnetic harvesters presented to date. This analysis includes a comparison of devices that confirms the theoretical comparison between conventional wound and micro-fabricated coils and the influence of device size on performance.


Excitation Amplitude Acceleration Level NdFeB Magnet Spiral Coil Vibration Energy Harvester 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Amirtharajah R, Chandrakasan AP (1998) Self-powered signal processing using vibration-based power generation, IEEE J. Solid-State Circuits 33: 687–695CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arnold DP (2007) Review of microscale magnetic power generation. IEEE Trans. Magnetics 43(11): 3940–3951CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beeby SP, Torah RN, Tudor MJ, Glynne-Jones P, O’Donnell T, Saha CR, Roy S (2007) A micro electromagnetic generator for vibration energy harvesting. J. Micromech. Microeng. 17:1257–1265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beeby SP, Tudor MJ, Koukharenko E, White NM, O’Donnell T, Saha C, Kulkarni S, Roy S (2005) Micromachined silicon generator for harvesting power from vibrations. Proceedings of Transducers 2005, Seoul, Korea: 780–783.Google Scholar
  5. Beeby SP, Tudor MJ, White NM (2006) Energy harvesting vibration sources for microsystems applications. Mease. Sci. Technol. 17: R175–R195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ching NNH, Wong HY, Li WJ, Leong PHW, Wen Z (2002) A laser-micromachined vibrational to electrical power transducer for wireless sensing systems. Sens Actuators A 97–98:685–690CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cugat O, Delamare J, Reyne G (2003) Magnetic Micro-Actuators and Systems (MAGMAS), IEEE Trans. Magnetics 39(5).Google Scholar
  8. El-Hami M, Glynne-Jones P, White NM, Hill M, Beeby S, James E, Brown AD, Ross JN (2000) A new approach towards the design of a vibration-based microelectromechanical generator. Proc. 14th European Conference on Solid-State Transducers, Copenhagen, August27–30: 483–486Google Scholar
  9. El-Hami M, Glynne-Jones P, White NM, Hill M, Beeby S, James E, Brown AD, Ross JN (2001) Design and fabrication of a new vibration-based electromechanical power generator. Sens. Actuators A 92: 335–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Glynne-Jones P (2001) Vibration powered generators for self-powered microsystems, PhD Thesis, University of SouthamptonGoogle Scholar
  11. Glynne-Jones P, Tudor MJ, Beeby SP, White NM (2004) An electromagnetic, vibration-powered generator for intelligent sensor systems. Sens. Actuators A110(1–3): 344–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hadas Z, Kluge M, Singule V, Ondrusek C (2007) Electromagnetic Vibration Power Generator. IEEE Int Symp Diagnostics for Electric Machines, Power Electronics and Drives: 451–455Google Scholar
  13. Huang WS, Tzeng KE, Cheng MC, Huang RS (2003) Design and fabrication of a vibrational micro-generator for wearable MEMS. Proceedings of Eurosensors XVII, Guimaraes, Portugal 695–697Google Scholar
  14. Kulah H, Najafi K (2004) An electromagnetic micro power generator for low-frequency environmental vibrations. Micro Electro Mechanical Systems: 17th IEEE Conference on MEMS, Maastricht: 237–240Google Scholar
  15. Kulkarni S, Roy S, O’Donnell T, Beeby S, Tudor J (2006) Vibration based electromagnetic micropower generator on silicon. J. Appl. Phys. 99: 08P511CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Li WJ, Ho TCH, Chan GMH, Leong PHW, Wong HY (2000a) Infrared signal transmission by a laser-micromachined vibration induced power generator. Proc. 43rd Midwest Symp. on Circuits and Systems, Aug 8–11: 236–239Google Scholar
  17. Li WJ, Wen Z, Wong PK, Chan GMH, Leong PHW (2000b) A micromachined vibration-induced power generator for low power sensors of robotic systems. Proc of the World Automation Congress: 8th International Symposium on Robotics with Applications, Hawaii,June 11–14Google Scholar
  18. McLyman W.T, (1988) Transformer and Inductor Design Handbook, Second Edition, Marcel Dekker Inc. New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. Mizuno M, Chetwynd D (2003) Investigation of a resonance microgenerator. J. Micromech. Microeng. 13: 209–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ng WB, Takado A, and Okada K (2005) Electrodeposited CoNiReWP thick array of high vertical magnetic anisotropy, IEEE Trans. Magn. 41(10): 3886–3888CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pérez-Rodríguez A, Serre C, Fondevilla N, Cereceda C, Morante JR, Esteve J, Montserrat J (2005) Design of electromagnetic inertial generators for energy scavenging applications Proceeedings of Eurosensors XIX, Barcelona, Spain, paper MC5Google Scholar
  22. Sari I, Balkan T, Kulah H (2007) A wideband electromagnetic micro power generator for wireless microsystems. Transducers ’07 & Eurosensors XXI, Digest of Technical papers, Vol. 1:275–278Google Scholar
  23. Scherrer S, Plumlee DG, Moll AJ (2005) Energy scavenging device in LTCC materials. IEEE workshop on Microelectronics and Electron Devices, WMED ’05: 77–78Google Scholar
  24. Serre C, Perez-Rodriguez A, Fondevilla N, Martincic E, Martinez S, Morante JR, Montserrat J, Esteve J (2008) Design and implementation of mechanical resonators for optimised inertial electromagnetic generators. Microsys. Technol. 14: 653–658CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Shearwood C, Yates RB (1997) Development of an electromagnetic micro-generator, Electron. Lett. 33: 1883–1884CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Torah RN, Glynne-Jones P, Tudor MJ, Beeby SP (2007) Energy aware wireless microsystem powered by vibration energy harvesting. Proc. 7th Int. Workshop on Micro and Nanotechnology for Power Generation and Energy Conversion Applications (PowerMEMS 2007), November 28–29th, Freiburg Germany: 323–326Google Scholar
  27. von Buren T, Troster G (2007) Design and optimisation of a linear vibration-driven electromagnetic micro-power generator. Sens. Actuators A 135: 765–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wang P-H, Dai X-H, Fang D-M, Zhao X-L (2007) Design, fabrication and performance of a new vibration based electromagnetic micro power generator. Microelectronics J 38:1175–1180Google Scholar
  29. Waters RL, Chisum B, Jazo H, Fralick M (2008) Development of an electro-magnetic transducer for energy harvesting of kinetic energy and its applicability to a MEMS-scale device. Proc nanoPower Forum 2008Google Scholar
  30. Williams CB, Shearwood C, Harradine MA, Mellor PH, Birch TS, Yates RB (2001) Development of an electromagnetic micro-generator. IEE Proc.-Circuits Devices Syst. 148(6):337–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Williams CW, Woods RC, Yates RB (1996) Feasibility of a vibration powered micro-electric generator. IEE Colloquium on Compact Power Sources: 7/1–7/3Google Scholar
  32. Williams CW, Yates RB (1996) Analysis of a micro-electric generator for microsystems. Sens Actuators A 52: 8–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. www.kinetron.nlGoogle Scholar
  34. Scholar
  35. Yuen SCL, Lee JMH, Li WJ, Leong PHW (2007) An AA-sized vibration-based microgenerator for wireless systems. IEEE Pervasive Computing 6: 64–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen P Beeby
    • 1
  • Terence O’Donnell
  1. 1.University of SouthamptonHighfieldUK

Personalised recommendations