Intelligent ILBE Generator & Energy Management (I2GEM)

Period of Performance: 08/01/2006 - 05/31/2007

$70K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Archangel Systems, Inc.
1635 Pumphrey Ave.
Auburn, AL 36832
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Auburn University
310 Samford Hall
Auburn, AL 36849
Institution POC

Abstract

The work proposed here augments the increasing body of research on capturing energy from walking. It focuses on the aspects associated with converting the captured energy, in the form of physical displacement, into an electrical form. The proposed Power Generator Back Pack is based on a Vernier Hybrid Machine (VHM) and magnetic gearing. The Vernier hybrid machine is a member of the family of variable-reluctance permanent magnet machines. Magnetic gearing converts the slow physical velocity to a higher frequency flux. This leads to a reduction in the size and weight of the backpack. Three-phase ac power from the linear generator is converted to desired dc output by the Intelligent Energy Controller (IEC). The IEC contains the power converter (a digitally controlled rectifier followed by dc-dc converter), battery recharger, sensor suites for monitoring battery state of charge and a processor that supervises all activities. The IEC uses adaptive control and optimum battery recharge routines to maximize efficiency as load levels and generator output vary. Additional features include data logging for post-mission maintenance, real-time diagnostics and displays. BENEFITS: Mobile power sources such as batteries often add great additional weight to a backpacker's load. As a result, there is great interest in harvesting electrical power from the energy expended during walking in a variety of situations. Investments made under this proposed STTR will increase Archangel s market potential in power sources. A number of markets have been identified for application of this developed technology. Power Generator Back Pack, once available to the commercial market, will help consumers to use their electronic equipment in remote location, where no other source of energy is available. Different versions of this backpack could allow disaster relief workers, explorers or soldiers to go out into the field with fewer heavy replacement batteries for cell phones, GPS instruments, night vision goggles and many other portable electronics. Refinements of the design could also lead to backpacks that are more comfortable and perhaps better for the back.