Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Wireless Bridge Sensors Powered By Passing Traffic

Date:
October 22, 2007
Source:
Clarkson University
Summary:
Researchers have developed technology that uses the vibrations caused by passing traffic to power wireless bridge monitoring sensors. Wireless battery-powered sensors that monitor bridges and report changes that may lead to failure are easy to install, but it is unwieldy to provide power for the sensors. Each bridge needs at least several sensors, many installed in hard-to-access locations. Replacing millions of batteries could become a problem, adding to the expense of maintaining the bridges. The researchers have found a way around this problem.

Clarkson University Assistant Professor Edward S. Sazonov and graduate students Darrell Curry and Haodong Li check data from a wireless bridge sensor on the Route 11 bridge in Potsdam, N.Y. Clarkson researchers have developed technology that uses the vibrations caused by passing traffic to power wireless bridge monitoring sensors.
Credit: Clarkson University photo by Christopher Lenney

Clarkson University researchers have developed technology that uses the vibrations caused by passing traffic to power wireless bridge monitoring sensors.

Wireless battery-powered sensors that monitor bridges and report changes that may lead to failure are easy to install, but it is unwieldy to provide power for the sensors. Each bridge needs at least several sensors, many installed in hard-to-access locations. Replacing millions of batteries could become a problem, adding to the expense of maintaining the bridges. The Clarkson researchers have found a way around this problem.

"We have completely eliminated the battery from the equation," says Assistant Professor Edward S. Sazonov, who developed the technology along with Professor Pragasen Pillay. "Hermetically sealed wireless sensors powered by bridge vibration can remain on the bridge without need of maintenance for decades, providing continuous monitoring of such parameters as ice conditions, traffic flows and health status."

The two electrical and computer engineering professors, along with graduate students Darrell Curry and Haodong Li, used the New York State Route 11 bridge, a steel girder structure, which runs over the Raquette River in Potsdam, N.Y., as a case study.

Energy was harvested by locating an electromagnetic generator on a girder. The harvester responded to one of the natural vibration frequencies of the bridge. Each time a car or a truck passed over the bridge, even in a different lane from the sensor installation, the whole structure vibrated and excited the mover in the generator, producing electrical energy. Harvested electrical energy powered unique wireless sensors that increased energy output of the harvester and consumed only microwatts of power while performing useful tasks.

Sazonov and Pillay have been invited to present their work at the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies Meeting in Washington, D.C., in January. The board provides support for their research.

They are also working on using the energy harvesting technology to power the various sensors in passenger cars.

Wireless monitoring of bridges and overpasses has gained much attention in the past few years. Bridge collapses happen suddenly and unpredictably, often leading to tragic loss of human life. In 2006, the Federal Highway Administration listed 25.8 percent of the nation's 596,842 bridges as either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. While many of these bridges will remain in service for years, they need monitoring and rehabilitation. Currently, bridge monitoring is performed through periodic visual inspections. In the tragic example of I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapse, the bridge passed a visual inspection a year prior to failure.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Clarkson University. "New Wireless Bridge Sensors Powered By Passing Traffic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071019175317.htm>.
Clarkson University. (2007, October 22). New Wireless Bridge Sensors Powered By Passing Traffic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071019175317.htm
Clarkson University. "New Wireless Bridge Sensors Powered By Passing Traffic." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071019175317.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Researchers found the scanners could be duped simply by placing a weapon off to the side of the body or encasing it under a plastic shield. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
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