Date of Award

4-13-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.Sc.

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Rashidzadeh, Rashid

Second Advisor

Ahmadi, Majid

Keywords

Energy Harvesting, Mechanical Rectifier, MEMS, MEMS boost converter, MEMS electrostatic energy harvester, Vibration energy source

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The growing need for alternative energy sources for sensors and portable devices has led to many energy-harvesting solutions. As the technology scales down and the supply voltage drops, the complexity of designing energy harvesting circuits increases. In this work, a vibrational energy harvester using Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) based switches is proposed. The MEMS switches are used to design a high efficiency rectifier instead of diodes. The voltage drop across diodes in conventional rectifiers reduces the efficiency of energy harvesters. The operation of the MEMS switches in the proposed rectifier is similar to the commutators in DC motor where alternating current is converted to direct current through mechanical switches rather than diodes. In the proposed rectifier, the MEMS switches are automatically activated in the presence of mechanical vibrations. An increased in efficiency of 30% is observed by utilizing MEMS switches as compared to a conventional diode based energy harvester using an input source of 1V. This thesis also presents a direct AC-DC power converter using a slotted MEMS structure. The MEMS switches were designed and simulated using Intellisuite software package.

Available for download on Thursday, April 19, 2018

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