18 May 2015 Energy harvesting via ferrofluidic induction
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A series of experiments were conducted to investigate and characterize the concept of ferrofluidic induction - a process for generating electrical power via cyclic oscillation of ferrofluid (iron-based nanofluid) through a solenoid. Experimental parameters include: number of bias magnets, magnet spacing, solenoid core, fluid pulse frequency and ferrofluid-particle diameter. A peristaltic pump was used to cyclically drive two aqueous ferrofluids, consisting of 7-10 nm iron-oxide particles and commercially-available hydroxyl-coated magnetic beads (~800 nm), respectively. The solutions were pulsated at 3, 6, and 10 Hz through 3.2 mm internal diameter Tygon tubing. A 1000 turn copper-wire solenoid was placed around the tube 45 cm away from the pump. The experimental results indicate that the ferrofluid is capable of inducing a maximum electric potential of approximately +/- 20 μV across the solenoid during its cyclic passage. As the frequency of the pulsating flow increased, the ferro-nanoparticle diameter increased, or the bias magnet separation decreased, the induced voltage increased. The type of solenoid core material (copper or plastic) did not have a discernible effect on induction. These results demonstrate the feasibility of ferrofluidic induction and provide insight into its dependence on fluid/flow parameters. Such fluidic/magneto-coupling can be exploited for energy harvesting and/or conversion system design for a variety of applications.
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J. Gabriel Monroe, J. Gabriel Monroe, Erick S. Vasquez, Erick S. Vasquez, Zachary S. Aspin, Zachary S. Aspin, John D. Fairley, John D. Fairley, Keisha B. Walters, Keisha B. Walters, Matthew J. Berg, Matthew J. Berg, Scott M. Thompson, Scott M. Thompson, "Energy harvesting via ferrofluidic induction", Proc. SPIE 9493, Energy Harvesting and Storage: Materials, Devices, and Applications VI, 94930G (18 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2178419; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2178419

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