Christopher Mullen

Participant: PROMISE AGEP Research Symposium

Christopher Mullen
Department
: Department of Mechanical Engineering
Institution: University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

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2016 RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM ABSTRACT

Optimization of an Electromagnetic Energy Harvester

When a mass, such as a car engine or HVAC duct, begins to vibrate, it is an indication that some of the energy used to move the car or air in the duct is being lost in the form of the vibration.  By attaching a magnet and coil of wire to the mass, the vibration causes the magnet to move relative to the coil, which induces an electric current.  This current can be directed to a battery or capacitor to be used to power electronic devices.  This is one example of how engineers are able to “harvest” energy.  Researchers are developing electromagnetic energy harvesters to scavenge energy from many applications including ocean waves to the kinetic energy from human motion.  The purpose of this research is to use a multi-variable optimization algorithm to identify a coil and magnet layout to be used in an energy harvesting backpack.  By comparing the power output of several configurations, the layout with the highest power density will be chosen for future experimental work.

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2015 RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM ABSTRACT

Purely Mechanical Nonlinear Vibration Energy Harvester

In this research, a design optimization framework for electromagnetic energy harvesters is developed. Electromagnetic energy harvesters scavenge energy from wasted kinematic and vibration energy easily found from machinery, ocean waves and even from human motion.
Placement of a magnet and a neighboring coil of wire in the vibration environment can generate relative motion of the magnet to the coil, and induce an electric current.  This current can be saved to a battery or capacitor to be used to power electronic devices. The purpose of this research is to use a multi-variable optimization algorithm to identify an optimal coil and magnet layout. By comparing the power output of several configurations, the layout with the highest power density will be chosen for future experimental work.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Christopher Mullen received an A.A. as an Engineering Transfer student at the Community College of Baltimore County, where he was a member of the SSTEM Scholars.  In 2012, Christopher transferred to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2014.  As an undergraduate, Christopher was an active member of Engineers Without Borders and was a recipient of the SSTEM Scholarship.  Upon completion of an undergraduate degree, Christopher received the LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship and joined the Energy Harvesting & Design Optimization Lab (EDLab) at UMBC and is currently working towards an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering.

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GENERAL SUMMARY OF GRADUATE RESEARCH

In this research, a design optimization framework for electromagnetic energy harvesters is developed. Electromagnetic energy harvesters scavenge energy from wasted kinematic and vibration energy easily found from machinery, ocean waves and even from human motion. Placement of a magnet and a neighboring coil of wire in the vibration environment can generate relative motion of the magnet to the coil, and induce an electric current.  This current can be saved to a battery or capacitor to be used to power electronic devices. The purpose of this
research is to use a multi-variable optimization algorithm to identify an optimal coil and magnet layout. By comparing the power output of several configurations, the layout with the highest power density will be chosen for future experimental work.

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PUBLICATIONS/PRESENTATIONS

[ No publications to date. ]

 

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