, Volume 51, Issue 7, pp 741-755
Date: 22 Feb 2013

Energy harvesting through arterial wall deformation: design considerations for a magneto-hydrodynamic generator

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As the complexity of active medical implants increases, the task of embedding a life-long power supply at the time of implantation becomes more challenging. A periodic renewal of the energy source is often required. Human energy harvesting is, therefore, seen as a possible remedy. In this paper, we present a novel idea to harvest energy from the pressure-driven deformation of an artery by the principle of magneto-hydrodynamics. The generator relies on a highly electrically conductive fluid accelerated perpendicularly to a magnetic field by means of an efficient lever arm mechanism. An artery with 10 mm inner diameter is chosen as a potential implantation site and its ability to drive the generator is established. Three analytical models are proposed to investigate the relevant design parameters and to determine the existence of an optimal configuration. The predicted output power reaches 65 μW according to the first two models and 135 μW according to the third model. It is found that the generator, designed as a circular structure encompassing the artery, should not exceed a total volume of 3 cm3.