Project B – Excitation-Conforming, Shape-Adaptive Mechano-Electrical Energy Conversion

Mechano-electrical (ME) energy conversion is a promising and versatile option for devices that demand novel perspectives in energy supply and/or require non-invasive noise and vibration reduction. The objective of this project is twofold. Firstly, we tackle the challenge of autonomous energy supply for the operation of remotely located electrical devices. These include measuring devices in meteorology or environmental monitoring that are oftentimes located offshore or in the remote locations and that only consume low energy to support their measuring function and/or for further processing of the measured data. Secondly, electric motors for pure and hybridized electric vehicles (PEV, HEV), which often exhibit undesired noise and vibration characteristics during operation. Here, ME energy conversion is highly viable for simultaneous energy harvesting and reduction of operation-induced vibrational energy.

This project focuses on novel excitation-conforming ME energy converters, which are able to efficiently exploit the energy contained in the EF spectrum of natural or defined technical excitations of actuator-driven shape-adaptation. This project will develop advanced continuum modeling and computational optimization and simulation tools that enable the design of shape-adaptive cross-sections and domains of beam-, plate-, and shell-like energy harvesting structures by combined shape and topology optimization. Thereby, the overarching goal is to optimize the energy harvesting efficiency of a ME system by adapting its natural frequency spectrum to a given excitation EF spectrum via suited stiffness modulations. We will affect stiffness modulations based on a feedback control via actuation of the shape-adaptive ME system at only a few distinct actuation points.


Principal Investigators

Prof. Dr. Paul Steinmann
Chair of Applied Mechanics

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Friedrich-Alexander-Unversität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Prof. Dr. Takashi Kosaka
Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Department
Frontier Research Institute for Information Science
Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan