A backpack energy harvester converts mechanical energy associated with the oscillation of the backpack during human walking, into electric energy. It can be a very promising solution for supplying portable devices, especially in outdoor activities, disaster relief, and military applications. In this article, a backpack energy harvesting system that is able to self-adapt its operating condition to maximize the extracted power while supplying a dc load is presented and studied, analytically and experimentally. It is based on a mechanical motion rectifier that converts the up-and-down oscillation of the backpack into a unidirectional rotation of a dc generator. The generator output voltage is regulated by a power electronic interface implementing a maximum power point tracking technique to maximize the extracted power. Experimental results confirm the tracking ability of the proposed system and show the advantages with respect to other wearable energy harvesting systems published in the literature.
- Backpack energy harvester
- maximum power point tracking (MPPT)
- perturb and observe (P&O)