EPSRC DTP PhD studentship: Multi-source energy harvesting and power management for applications

University of Exeter - College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

Main supervisor: Prof  Meiling Zhu (University of Exeter)

The aim of this project is to develop multi-source energy harvesting and power management for powering wireless sensors in continuous monitoring modes. Over the last decade, energy harvesting has been the promise of self-powered systems capable of operating for years by capturing ambient energy without any need for batteries or mains connection, operating in a truly energy autonomous manner. Despite the significant advantages, to date there is no evidence yet of energy harvesting powered wireless sensors for continuous monitoring as single energy harvesting technology cannot provide enough power for the required monitoring. For example, solar energy harvesting has long been recognised to be able to provide sufficiently high power. However, availability of solar energy strongly depends on weather conditions and time of day. A hundred of milliwatts for industrial applications are required for continuous monitoring. As not all the energy harvesting technologies generate sufficient amount of power for the applications, the project will develop multi-source energy harvesting devices by combining solar, air flow, vibration and thermal energy harvesting together, that aims to provide energy for continuous monitoring. The research challenge here is how to design multi-source energy harvesting devices and to create efficient and effective multi-source power management strategies to harvest, store and manage the energy from multiple energy harvesters. Therefore, the objective of the project is to design, model and test :

  • multi-source energy harvesting devices to provide sufficient energy to the wireless sensor nodes for continuous monitoring.
  • multi-source power management and storage platform to efficiently and effectively harvest, store and manage the energy from multiple energy harvesters with low power consumption for interfacing with wireless sensor nodes for applications.

The PhD student will be requested to delivery either one or both of the above project objectives, depending on his/her engineering background.

The student project will be supervised by Prof. Zhu who has a long research experience in energy harvesting and power management and also the student will, as a member, join the Energy Harvesting Research Group at the University of Exeter which will facilitate the student research progresses enabling the student to deliver the project with the funding period.

The PhD student will have learning and training opportunities in developing not only standard academic skills and knowledges but also special skills and knowledge in energy harvesting and gaining an understanding of the industrial requirements for this technology for applications. 

Funding Minimum
3.5 year studentship: UK/EU tuition fees and an annual maintenance allowance at current Research Council rate. Current rate of £14,296 per year.

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South West England