Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mini Generator Has Enough Power To Run Electronics

Date:
November 26, 2004
Source:
Georgia Tech
Summary:
It may be tiny, but a new microgenerator developed at Georgia Tech can now produce enough power to run a small electronic device, like a cell phone, and may soon be able to power a laptop. The microgenerator is about 10 millimeters wide, or about the size of a dime. When coupled with a similarly sized gas-fueled microturbine (or jet) engine, the system, called a microengine, has the potential to deliver more energy and last 10 times longer than a conventional battery.

From top to bottom: Postdoctoral fellow Dr. Jin-Woo Park, doctoral candidate David Arnold and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Iulica Zana with Tech’s microgenerator.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Georgia Tech

ATLANTA (November 23, 2004) — It may be tiny, but a new microgenerator developed at Georgia Tech can now produce enough power to run a small electronic device, like a cell phone, and may soon be able to power a laptop.

The microgenerator is about 10 millimeters wide, or about the size of a dime. When coupled with a similarly sized gas-fueled microturbine (or jet) engine, the system, called a microengine, has the potential to deliver more energy and last 10 times longer than a conventional battery.

Developed by doctoral candidate David Arnold, postdoctoral fellows Dr. Iulica Zana and Dr. Jin-Woo Park, and Professor Mark Allen, in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech, the microgenerator produces useful amounts of electricity by spinning a small magnet above a mesh of coils fabricated on a chip. The microelectromechanical system (MEMS) was developed in close collaboration with Sauparna Das and Dr. Jeffrey Lang in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

While work has been underway for several years on various microengine concepts, Georgia Tech’s generator has now demonstrated the ability to produce the wattage necessary to power an electronic device, Arnold said.

“We can now get macro-scale power from a micro-scale device,” Arnold added.

This advancement is a key step in microengines someday being incorporated into products and possibly replacing conventional batteries in certain electronics.

“This is an important step in the development of MEMS-based micro-power systems,” Allen said.

The device’s magnet spins at 100,000 revolutions per minute (rpm), much faster than the comparatively sluggish 3,000 rpm of an average car engine. Speed like that is capable of producing 1.1 watts of power, or enough juice to run a cell phone.

If the project reaches its projected goal, it will eventually produce as much as 20 to 50 watts, capable of powering a laptop.

The research is part of a larger project funded by the Army Research Laboratory to create lighter portable power sources to replace the heavy batteries that currently power a soldier’s equipment, such as laptops, radios, and GPS systems. Researchers at the University of Maryland and Clark Atlanta University also collaborate on the project.

One of the team’s key problems was figuring out how to spin the magnet fast enough to get useful amounts of power, while keeping the magnet from breaking apart. High-performance magnets are brittle and easily broken up by the centrifugal force created by high speeds. To overcome this problem, the researchers have optimized the magnet dimensions and encased it in a titanium alloy to increase its strength.

In the lab, the team used an air-powered drill — similar to what a dentist would use — that simulates the spinning of the magnet by the micro gas turbine (still under development at MIT). Now that initial tests have been successful, they hope to increase the speeds to what would be used in an actual microengine to squeeze out more power.

The Georgia Tech/MIT team will present their progress with the project at the International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) in January.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the nation's premiere research universities. Ranked among U.S. News & World Report's top 10 public universities, Georgia Tech educates more than 16,000 students every year through its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech maintains a diverse campus and is among the nation's top producers of women and African-American engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute. During the 2003-2004 academic year, Georgia Tech reached $341.9 million in new research award funding.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia Tech. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgia Tech. "Mini Generator Has Enough Power To Run Electronics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 November 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041124154548.htm>.
Georgia Tech. (2004, November 26). Mini Generator Has Enough Power To Run Electronics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041124154548.htm
Georgia Tech. "Mini Generator Has Enough Power To Run Electronics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041124154548.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Next Stop America for France's TGV?

Next Stop America for France's TGV?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 24, 2014) General Electric keeps quiet on reports it's in talks to buy French turbine and train maker Alstom. Ivor Bennett reports on what could be an embarrassing rumour for the French government, with business-friendly reforms proving a hard sell. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) President Obama briefly played soccer with a robot during his visit to Japan on Thursday. The President has been emphasizing technology along with security concerns during his visit. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Encourages Japanese Student-Scientists

Obama Encourages Japanese Student-Scientists

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) President Obama spoke with student innovators in Japan and urged them to take part in increased opportunities for student exchanges with the US. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins