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Series in Microelectronics
edited by Wolfgang Fichtner
George S. Moschytz
Thomas von Büren
Body-worn sensor networks are likely to have a major impact on health care in the future. By continuously monitoring the life signs of patients during everyday life they will allow to detect dangerous medical conditions earlier as well as to improve diagnoses. One of the obstacles on the way towards this vision is power supply. Current implementations are impractical as they require frequent battery replacements, recharging, or have limited lifetime. A possible solution is to 'harvest' human mechanical energy using body-worn inertial (vibration-driven) generators. This work proposes a novel linear electromagnetic generator architecture suitable for the power-supply of body-worn sensor networks. The architecture comprises electromagnetic topology and mechanical bearing. An optimization methodology is developed as well. Finally, the feasibility is confirmed by the fabrication and evaluation of a generator prototype.
Thomas von Büren received the Dipl. El.-Ing. ETH (MSc) and Dr. sc. ETH (PhD) degrees in information technology and electrical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland, in 2000 and 2006, respectively. He joined the Electronics Laboratory at ETH Zurich in 2000 as a research and teaching assistant in the Wearable Computing Group. His research interests include micro-power generators and their application in wearable computing.
Keywords: Body-Worn Generator, Inertial Generator, Micro-Power Supply, Electromagnetic Micro-Power Generator, Vibration-to-Electric Energy Conversion, Body-Worn Sensor Networks, Human-Powered Computing, Wearable Computing
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