Electromechanical devices that generate an electrical signal in response to an external source of mechanical vibrations can operate as a sensor of vibrations and as an energy harvester for converting mechanical vibration to electrical energy. The devices incorporate a magnet that is movable through a gap in a ferromagnetic circuit, wherein a coil is wound around a portion of the ferromagnetic circuit. A flexible coupling is used to attach the magnet to a frame for providing alignment of the magnet as it moves or oscillates through the gap in the ferromagnetic circuit. The motion of the magnet can be constrained to occur within a substantially linear range of magnetostatic force that develops due to the motion of the magnet. The devices can have ferromagnetic circuits with multiple arms, an array of magnets having alternating polarity and, encompass micro-electromechanical (MEM) devices.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The United States Government has certain rights in this invention pursuant to Department of Energy Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 with Sandia Corporation.