piezoTsensor consists in an Energy Harvesting (EH) device that uses a piezoelectric bender and an appropriate customizable aerodynamic appendix that takes advantage of specific air flow effects (vortex shedding and galloping) for producing energy. This kind of flow is typical in HVAC networks.
The sensor is completed with a temperature probe, a wireless module and an usb receiver.
*patent pending (European Patent Application: EP2953259 - 2015-12-09)
Compared to other self-powered temperature sensors, piezoTsensor is more efficient, since it can be placed inside HVAC ducts and harvest a higher amount of energy from air flow, without maintenance costs.
PiezoTsensor was thoroughly tested in wind tunnel at the UNIFI-CRIACIV (Inter-University Research Center for Building Aerodynamics and Wind Engineering).
The Energy Harvesting circuit has been optimised by a research team from the Sapienza University of Rome.
Piezoelectric part: Physik Instrumente© (PI) DuraAct Patch Transducer PZT ceramic: PIC 255 - Dimensions: 51x11x0,5mm / active area 40x9x0,2mm
Wireless module: 16bit microcontroller, 886Mhz/2.4 GHz transceiver, USB interface
Integration: Software for the data acquisition from T/H digital sensors, P2P wireless data transmission, UART emulation over USB
Since 2010, StroNGER invested in energy harvesting research as a natural outcome of the group's expertise in structural analysis and design. StroNGER partner Konstantinos Gkoumas, spent research periods at the Structural Monitoring and Control (SMC) center of the Harbin Institute of Technology (2010) and the Linear and Nonlinear Dynamics and Vibrations Laboratory (LNDVL) at the University of Illinois (2012) and had a research contract with the Sapienza University of Rome on the same topic (2012-2014). StroNGER director Francesco Petrini, who holds a PhD in fluid-structure interaction, carried out numerical simulations and obtained important preliminary results that were fundamental for the future development of piezoTsensor. Several research papers were presented in national and international conferences (EMI PMC 2012, IABMAS 2012, where also a special session was organized, SEMC 2013 , InVento 2014, DCEE4 2014).
StroNGER applied for a 50.000€ grant in the ESA-BIC Lazio (European Space Agency Business Incubator Center Lazio) for the space technology transfer. The proposal was successful and the project officially started on February 25 2014.
piezoTsensor development took place over a period of 24 months. StoNGER worked closely with ESA-BIC experts and renowned researchers in the fields of aerodynamics and electronics. Additional numerical models were built by Giulio Biscarini, a fluid-structure interaction expert. PiezoTsensor was thoroughly tested over 12 months in wind tunnel at the UNIFI-CRIACIV (the Inter-University Research Center for Building Aerodynamics and Wind Engineering in Florence). The electric circuit was designed with the collaboration of Dr. Marco Balsi of the Sapienza University of Rome. The final design was carried out together with SystemDesign.
StroNGER developed a series of working prototypes that can be tested on site. The prototypes were ready in time for the final review by ESA-BIC which took place on June 6 2016 in ESA ESRIN at Frascati. A number of presentations to key conferences and workshops were planed (InVento 2016 , DCEE5 2016, CILAMCE 2016, EURODYN 2017). We are currently seeking funding for the further development and commercialization of piezoTsensor.
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