Next-generation Technology of
Power Generation from Vibration.

Vibrational power generation is an innovative technology that generates energy from vibration. Our lab researches
V-GENERATOR, vibrational power generation using magnetostrictive materials. Magnetostrictive materials are materials that can convert elastic energy into magnetic energy. In recent years, outstanding magnetostrictive material has been developed with an alloy of iron and gallium (Fe-Ga alloy) that features robust and high efficiency energy conversion. With this material, V-GENERATOR can generate high output power from small vibration with a simple configuration.

V-GENERATOR Proved
Simple is Best.

V-GENERATOR is a device of magnetostrictive vibrational generator. The structure is simple, consisting of a U-shaped frame, iron-gallium plate, a coil and a permanent magnet. With a weight, it is fixed to a source of vibration, such as machines, the inertial force causes the weight vibrating up and down. This movement transforms the frame and applies compression and tensile forces on the alloy. At this moment, magnetic flux changes due to the inverse magnetostrictive effect and electricity is generated in the coil due to Faraday’s electromagnetic induction.

The Structure of V-Generator

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Power Generation Mechanism

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5 Features

  • 01.VALUE

    Simple. Easy to Produce. High Endurance

    No need for advanced technology for manufacturing. Doesn’t include sliding parts that can deteriorate.

  • 02.VALUE

    High Output and High Sensitivities

    Innovative structure based on U-shaped frame enables large changes in magnetization from small forces.

  • 03.VALUE

    Low Output Resistor

    Voltage and resistance are adjustable by the coil.

  • 04.VALUE

    Wide Range of Sizes and Shapes

    Customizable variety of sizes and shapes.

  • 05.VALUE

    Low Cost

    The Fe-Ga alloy makes up most the cost. The rest of the cost is for general-purpose components such as those used in motors.

V-GENERATOR×IoT =
New Technology, Strong Possibilities.

Battery-free IoT is a topic of interest around the world. Our goal is implementing this technology by combining V-GENERATOR and a wireless communication module. By generating power from small movements in ordinary life, e.g. opening doors and pressing buttons,
V-GENERATOR can transmit sensor signals from various places and things over small distances via Bluetooth Low Energy. Over a longer distance, V-GENERATOR generates large amounts of energy from big movements or stores power in a capacitor, and can transmit a variety of sensor information through Low Power Wide Area (920 MHz) wireless module.

Short Distance System

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Long Distance System

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Familiar Vibrations and Movements

Familiar Vibrations

  • Notifications about vibrations and temperature
    Vibration of machines

  • Detecting water leaks
    Vibration of water pipes

  • Checking the status of bridges
    Vibrations caused by cars and wind

  • Detecting cracks on railways
    Vibration of train cars

  • Temperature notification
    Vibration form wind and ducts

  • Traffic and road condition notifications
    Vibrations from tires and vehicles

Vibrations and Movements by Humans

  • Reporting suspicious persons
    Vibration of floors

  • Burglary detection
    Impacts on window glass

  • Security
    The pressing of buttons

  • Watching over children
    Movements of toys

  • Security
    Opening and closing a door

  • Watching over patients
    The pressing of bed-side buttons

  • Judging in sports
    The impact on balls

Vibrations and Movements in Nature

  • Detecting landslides
    Vibration of sediment

  • Temperature and water level notifications
    Vibration from wind

  • Ocean management and Tsunami detection
    Changes of waves and water levels

Battery-free Technology Changes and Creates a New Market.

Battery-free IoT devices are expected to be used in various markets. V-GENERATOR will be one of the new technologies.

Various Fields

  • Vehicle, TPMS,
    Power

  • Sports Wearables

  • Trains & Ships

  • Manufacturing & Construction
    Equipments

  • Education

  • Security

  • Agriculture & Fisheries

  • Industrial Plants

  • Infrastructure

  • Bicycles
    Baby Carriages

  • Disaster
    Prevention

  • Entertainment

Semi-permanent Power,
Outstanding Performance.

The biggest problem with IoT is batteries. They eventually run out and need to be replaced. One or two is no problem.
But how about replacing tens or hundreds? It would be very troublesome.
Recently, IoT modules that last three to five years by battery are being produced. However, the situation hasn’t changed.

On the other hand, V-GENERATOR is very powerful and robust and, once it’s set up, is semi-permanent and rarely needs to be replaced. Power is proportion to the size. The ultra-compact
V-GENERATOR generates power comparable to a coin cell, while the medium size generates power comparable to an AA battery (power of mill-Watt). V-GENERATOR can produce power in an instant, like the flipping of a switch. As voltage is proportional to vibrations, V-GENERATOR can be used as a sensor. It is also weather resistant and doesn’t require battery covers, making it a simple system. The devices are available in many sizes and for many different purposes.

Superiority Over Batteries

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Exceeding Conventional
Vibration Power Generation.

Conventional technology called harvester use piezoelectric elements, electrets, and back-and-forth motion of permanent magnets. The reason they can’t be widely implemented is because they generate low power having poor durability and electrical properties.

To replace batteries, they need to produce more power, be more durable, and last longer. To work as a power source, output resistance is also important. In general, piezoelectric elements and electrets with high output resistance aren’t good as a power source, because it’s hard to get current at the electrical circuit. Furthermore, the devices need to be adjustable and customizable in order to work on a variety of vibrations.
V-GENERATOR’s resonance can be easily adjusted and can be customized to different sizes and shapes.

The cost is also an important factor for implementation. By mass producing magnetostrictive materials, V-GENERATOR will be almost the same price as batteries.

Superiority Over Other Elements

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V-GENERATOR PIEZOELECTRIC
ELEMENTS
MOVEMENTS OF
MAGNETS
ELECTRETS
POWER GENERATION mW μW mW μW
ENERGY CONVERSION EFFICIENCY 40% 10% NA NA
INTERNAL RESISTANCE Low High Low High
DURABILITY High Low
*Broken When Pulled Off
Low
*Sliding Parts
Low
*Sliding Parts
ADJUSTMENT / CUSTOMIZATION Adjustable with Weights
Adjustable with Weights Not adjustable
(Fixed Frequency)
Not adjustable
(Fixed Frequency)
SIZE Small to Large Small to Medium Medium to Large Small (MEMS)
COST Low Medium Medium High

Kanazawa University
College of Science and Engineering
School of Electrical and
Computer Engineering
Assistant Professor

UENO Toshiyuki

The Next Age of
Vibration Power Generation.
The Impact of Battery-free
on the World.

Vibration power for the next generation, an overwhelming new battery-free technology that efficiently converts vibrations into electricity and is able to generate power from small movements, impacts, flows, and waves. I believe in the idea that using magnetic phenomena to convert energy is as marketable as electric motors are.



There are countless ways to use this technology: to power wireless sensors, for monitoring the status of machinery, as a security device that detects the movements of doors or the breaking of window glass. It can be attached on shoes to light up LEDs as we walk at night. It is clear that these devices can be useful in many situations.
By making them larger, they can generate more power from larger vibrations created by objects like cars, trains, and bridges. This makes generating electricity simpler and easier, and it shows that our power generating devices could solve energy challenges.



Barriers to entry into the battery market are one of the main problems for implementation. To use these devices efficiently, it is important to observe vibrating thing and make the full use of the mechanical energy by V-GENERATOR. Specifically,
to utilize these devices, we must measure vibrations, choose appropriate size of V-GENERATOR, and perform set-up and adjustment on site. Making these things easier is the key for implementation. Our project will attempt to establish a basis of vibration power generation from Japan to the world.

PROFILE

Kanazawa University
College of Science and Engineering
School of Electrical and
Computer Engineering
Assistant Professor

UENO Toshiyuki

Specialized Fields
Vibrational Power Generation, Magnetostrictive Materials, Actuator

About
A leading expert on vibrational power generation using magnetostrictive materials.
Obtained a Ph.D in Department of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering from Tohoku University in 2001. After working as a JSPS Research Fellow and Assistant Professor at Tokyo University, started teaching in the College of Science and Engineering Electrical, Information and Communication Engineering at Kanazawa University in 2009.

Familiar with vibrations, magnetostrictive materials, and its energy conversion device and applications. In 2010, came up with the fundamental principle of vibration power generation technology (parallel-beam shape)
by using the inverse magnetostrictive effect. The patent (No. 4905820) has been cited in more than 40 Japanese patents.  
In 2016, invented the current device structure (unimorph-shape) and received a patent (No.6343852) in 2017.
Many other patents have been applied for. 
Has been conducting a wide variety of research, such as a characterization of Fe-Ga alloy that is the core of the devices.
Currently planning and making a prototype of power-generating devices, producing a wireless sensor system, and applying IoT.

Laboratory Watch Videos

Dramatically Scaling Up and Down.
Taking Vibrational Power Generation to Uncharted Waters.

  • Q.

    Is V-GENERATOR currently available?

    A.

    It’s not available at the moment. For trial use, please contact us from the link below.

    Contact Us
  • Q.

    I’d like to have a data sheet for V-GENERATOR.

    A.

    It is currently being prepared. We have a document in the link below. Please check it out first.

    Download the documents
  • Q.

    What level of vibration is required from a machine in order to use V-GENERATOR?

    A.

    A. If you touch the machine and can feel a vibration, it can be used. We can give more accurate detail if you provide data that you have measured.

  • Q.

    Can it handle changes in vibration frequency?

    A.

    We’ve been trying to make it possible within a certain range. In a wider range, You should use multiple devices with different operating frequencies.

  • Q.

    Is it compatible with sensors, microcomputers, or LPWA?

    A.

    Yes, when it stores electricity. But the power V-GENERATOR generates needs to match consumption. At the moment, GPS consumes too much power.

  • Q.

    Other than doors, What can it be attached to?

    A.

    Refrigerators, furniture doors, windows, and things that constantly move.
    If a structure can convert movement into vibration, anything is fine.

  • Q.

    Can it charge a smartphone or a smartwatch?

    A.

    It can’t. The batteries in these devices are very large and require a lot of power. The power generated from human movement is not sufficient.

  • Q.

    Can V-GENERATOR generate 1W or 1KW?

    A.

    Theoretically, Yes. Wind, wave, and hydroelectric power generation can be expected. Power is in proportion to a volume. When enlarging devices, resonance frequency decreases. If the size of the devices and the frequency match, greater power generation could be possible.

  • Q.

    Is it true that the device is durable and semi-permanent?

    A.

    As for junctions between magnetostrictive materials and frames, it is fine to use it in general. We’ve been developing higher durability for excessive force, vibration, and heat. If there’s no problem with those junctions and the metal fatigue of frames, we can say it’s semi-permanent.

  • Q.

    What is the main problem for implementation?

    A.

    The price of magnetostrictive materials. The price become cheaper if the materials are mass produced.

New technology for our society. Seeking co-development and industrialization partners.

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