I will be researching the array of human powered devices that are available in the market today. There are a number of items which feature distinguishing designs, and use the thermal, electromagnetic and kinetic energy that the human body produces; to illuminate, to store power, or to heat the surrounding environment. I would like to research this topic because as I learn more about how the universe is constructed, I am being awakened to all the myriad of ways in which we all as human beings, and the universe as a whole, truly are connected. It is interesting to me how inventors have created a marriage between science and art. There are a number of very interesting, beautiful, and useful objects which now exist in the world due to the collaboration between engineers and artists. I would like to explore how these devices will create a shared future reality for the society as a whole. One of these objects is called the nPower Peg, which stores kinetic energy as you walk, and then can be used to power your iPhone or other portable device. I know that energy is a conserved quantity, and that it cannot be lost but merely transferred or transformed. What I know about these devices is that they harness or redirect this energy to perform tasks, or to allow you access to this stored energy at a moment of your choosing. I believe that I can incorporate a large portion of what we have learned this semester about how energy exists in the universe, how it is translated to objects, and how human beings interact with these processes.
How Things Work: The Physics of Everyday Life [Louis A. Bloomfield] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
Scott Alan Espinoza's insight:
So, this is obviously the textbook for the class. I am researching Faraday's law, electromotive force, batteries, generators...and so on. This information can be found in chapters 10 and 11. This is a continuation of my understanding of the physics involved in creating, and making this device a viable option for a Personal Energy Generator. Thus the name nPower-PEG. This will help me understand the science in the first place, and then to explain it in my report, and my presentation.
This reference is purely to teach myself how students might think about the physics generally, and Faraday's law specifically. I wanted to read this article to gain an understanding of how teachers go about explaining complex subjects to their students. I do not know if I will use any of the information directly out of this journal article, but it will at least help me formulate a plan on how to explain the physics involved; first to myself, and then to others, in my report.
Sanchez, C. W., & Loverude, M. E. (2012). Further investigation of examining students understanding of Lenz's law and Faraday's law. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1413(1), 335-338. doi:10.1063/1.3680063
This reference gave me insight as to how the device interacts with other technologies, as well as hightlighting the fact that all human beings walk at a pretty consistent rate, so the frequency of shakes will also be consistent. The information given here lead me to further research into how kinetic energy can be harnessed to charge a battery; and then how that energy can be discharged on a as-needed basis. The graphic here is excellent, and allowed me to visualize just how the walking motion is translated by the nPowerPEG into stored energy. This reference introduced me to new terms like power take out (PTO), and mechanically resonant system. This reference also has compelled me to think about how the oscillatory motion is translated inside the device to achieve maximum efficiencies.
This is the 4th lesson in the series, "Electromagnetism." It explains Michael Faraday's discovery and analyzes the law he used to explain his discovery. The ...
Scott Alan Espinoza's insight:
So, this is where I began in attempting to understand the concepts involved. I am basically a visual learner, so this really helped me to visualize what the process looks like. I will use this source to further my understanding, so that I might begin to see the connections that each of the individual parts of the nPowerPEG have to the input of kinetic energy, and the output of energy which has been translated to mA, stored in a battery, and then released when needed.
Ok, so this is a crash course in the physics and concepts involved in taking kinetic energy, harvesting it, translating it into electromotive force and storing it in a battery.
From the abstract;
"Induction, in electricity and magnetism, common name for three distinct phenomena. Electromagnetic induction is the production of an electromotive force (emf) in a conductor as a result of a changing magnetic field about the conductor and is the most important of the three phenomena."
So, this is where I started in terms of looking at the physics involved in the nPowerPEG. I will use this information to get me deeper into my understanding of how kinetic energy can be used to store energy in a 2000mA battery. Really this is a natural progression from the generalized concepts involved in making the device useful---to formulating a logical understanding of the science which surrounds the entire process.
Induction, in electricity and magnetism. (2013). Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, 1.
Personal Energy Generator. Product Design & Development
Scott Alan Espinoza's insight:
This was very helpful in directing my research. This article introduced the specific areas and laws within physics which I need to study, and explain to myself, so that I can then explain it to other students.
The inventor talks here about the process by which he invented the nPowerPEG; " nPower is a vibration harvesting technology that produces power by using Faraday’s law of induction: the induced electromotive force (EMF) in any closed circuitis equal to the time rate of change of the magnetic flux through the circuit. More simply, nPower technology harvests kinetic energy from large energy, small frequency forces like walking. The electrical output is directly correlated with the physical size of the device."
All of these concepts are ones which I had never explored before. So, I needed to find out about Faraday's law of induction, electromotive force, and how these worked together in this device to harvest and store energy. This article was sort of the jumping off point for me.
Ukura, K. (2011). Personal Energy Generator. Product Design & Development, 66(3), 16.
PR, N. (2012, April 3). Battery Problems? Solved. The New nPower® PEG Kinetic Energy Charger Launches April 19 at EcoFocus. PR Newswire US.
I wanted to understand what else this company produces, and how these different technologies had their genesis in the development of the nPowerPEG. I am using this information as reference points. The information here lead me to investigate the company itself in the business and technology databases under the EBSCO umbrella.
This is basically a reference to the inventor himself, and his company. I discovered that they make more than just the nPowerPEG. Here is a statement by Aaron LeMieux:
"About UsTremont Electric is a Triple Bottom Line Green Plus Certified clean energy startup in Cleveland, Ohio, dedicated to providing renewable energy to consumers around the world through the patented and scalable nPower® kinetic energy harvesting technology, ranging from the nPower® PEG, the world's first passive kinetic energy charger for personal hand-held electronics, to small, implantable biomedical generators, to large commercial scale wave energy converters. www.nPowerPEG.com"
I wanted to get information on how this product was developed, as well as what its constituent parts are, and how they function within the device. By accessing this information directly from the U.S. Patent Office web-site I was able to look at the schematics, and get the inventors explanations of some of the physics involved in the functioning of each part. I plan to use this information to do further research into induction, batteries, faraday's law, and electromotive force.
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