Fabrication and testing of an energy-harvesting hydraulic damper

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Article number65024
Journal / PublicationSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


Hydraulic dampers are widely used to dissipate energy during vibration damping. In this paper, an energy-harvesting hydraulic damper is proposed for collecting energy while simultaneously damping vibration. Under vibratory excitation, the flow of hydraulic oil inside the cylinder of the damper is converted into amplified rotation via a hydraulic motor, whose output shaft is connected to an electromagnetic generator capable of harvesting a large amount of energy. In this way, the vibration is damped by both oil viscosity and the operation of an electrical mechanism. An electromechanical model is presented to illustrate both the electrical and mechanical responses of the system. A three-stage identification approach is introduced to facilitate the model parameter identification using cycle-loading experiments. A prototype device is developed and characterized in a test rig. The maximum power harvested during the experiments was 435.1 W (m s-1)-1, using a predefined harmonic excitation with an amplitude of 0.02 m, a frequency of 0.8 Hz, and an optimal resistance of 2 Ω. Comparison of the experimental and computational results confirmed the effectiveness of both the electromechanical model and the three-stage identification approach in realizing the proposed design. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.