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Mechanical Energy Harvesting Taxonomy for Industrial Environments: Application to the Railway Industry

Pablo López Díez, Iosu Gabilondo, Eduard Alarcón, Francesc Moll

IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems


Traditional industry is experiencing a worldwide evolution with Industry 4.0. Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have a main role in this evolution as an essential part of data acquisition. The way in which WSNs are powered is one of the main challenges to face if industry wants to achieve the digital transformation. Energy harvesting technologies are one of the possible solutions to this challenge. The main purpose of this paper is to present a novel method to taxonomize knowledge in the field of mechanical energy harvesting to enhance the use of energy harvesting technologies in industrial applications. The methodology is based on the analysis of key parameters and performance metrics for existing technologies. The taxonomy is applied to rail axles in order to select the energy harvesting technology that is more appropriate for this specific location, demonstrating the potential of mechanical energy harvesting technologies (MEHTs) for the railway industry, as a use case of industrial environment. In addition, the taxonomy allows to identify the upcoming challenges for research purposes while analyzing the compatibility among mechanical energy harvesting technologies in order to create hybrid harvesters.

DOI / link: https://doi.org/10.1109/TITS.2019.2924987

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