Energy Harvesting in flow measurements

Energy harvest through rotational movements

The technology of Energy Harvesting makes it possible to extract small amounts of electrical energy from the environment, such as light, heat or vibration, in order to provide energy-autonomous electronic systems such as sensors, radio transmitters or displays. Researchers at Fraunhofer IIS have now succeeded in generating electricity from volume flows with so-called oval wheel meters.

With a suitable arrangement of magnets on the gears and fixed coils on the housing of the Oval Gear Meter, sufficient electrical energy can be obtained solely from the rotational movement. Thus, a radio module can be supplied without further batteries and the measured data can be transmitted wirelessly.

The remote reading is partly imperative for controlling and monitoring the measured volume flow in many applications, such as pipelines, dispensers, etc. Previously, the energy had to be provided for data processing and transmission from batteries or via cable, which means additional maintenance or installation effort. The associated costs have in many cases precluded the economic use of flow metering systems with remote meter reading. With Energy Harvesting, it is now possible to economically use such measuring systems in so far inaccessible places with a maintenance-free energy supply – for a lifetime.

The energy self-sufficient flow measuring system with remote reading was developed together with the project partners Bopp & Reuther Messtechnik GmbH and WIKON GmbH in the project »Ovalradzähler« of the Central Innovation Program Mittelstand ZIM. The project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology under the project management of the AIF (Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen).

External articles about this technology


Energy for Smart City

With energy from the environment, many devices in Smart City supposed to be powered. Our Energy Harvesting developers make a decisive contribution with the Oval Gear Meter. Thus, every flow measurement within the city can generate electrical energy. An article about us appeared in the current Smart Cities issue »The Quintessence« by EBV Elektronik. It can be downloaded free of charge as an app under »TQ by EBV« in the iOS and Android store.