Energy recovery systems from environmental vibrations

Energy recovery from environmental vibrations is a research topic deeply investigated in recent years.

There are several implementations according to the energy amount recoverable range from the power supply of wireless sensors dedicated/devoted to monitoring activities in situ to the battery recharge.


The essential component of an ideal instrument is an elastic body (basically monomodal) to be connected to the vibrating structure from which vibrations originate, a transducer converting vibration energy into electric energy and a circuit to manage the electric power produced.

Within this research we implemented devices for electric energy recovery based on the piezoelectric transduction as well as on the electro-magnetic one, and we optimized them in order to maximise the power extracted when the vibrating structure, to which these devices are applied, is subject to harmonic vibrations. Future research will concern the optimization of devices to extract energy from environmental vibrations which are more “realistic”, consisting in white or coloured noise, and (research will concern) the inclusion of non-linear effects into the model and the adoption of multimodal energy recovery devices.

There is currently a cooperation with the IFSTTAR Institute of Paris for the implementation of electro-magnetic devices able todamp vibrations and, at the same time, to recover energy from large-scale motorway signs under wind vibration.