Course detail

Energy Harvesting

FSI-RAEAcad. year: 2015/2016

The course “Energy Harvesting” deals with introduction of unique ways of the energy generating from surroundings. Currently remote electronics, autonomous low power devices and wireless sensors are powered by batteries. One possibility to overcome energy limitations of batteries or possibly fully substitute batteries is to harvest energy from the environment to power the electronics. The ambient energy is available in the form of radiation, thermal energy and mechanical energy of the environment. The course “Energy Harvesting” is focused on energy harvesting from mechanical energy of vibrations, shocks, deformation, human behaviour etc., and simulation modelling of energy harvesting systems.

Language of instruction


Number of ECTS credits


Mode of study

Not applicable.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

The “Energy harvesting” deals with overview of independent ways of generating energy from surroundings for autonomous supplying of wireless sensors, remote electronics and low power devices. Students will be able to: Analyze of ambient energy for energy harvesting from the concrete industrial system. Select the best way of supplying of modern autonomous electronics. Simulation modelling of electro-mechanical conversion.


Kinematics and dynamics, Solving the 2nd order differential equations, Laws of electromechanical energy conversion, Laws of conservation of energy, Basic knowledge of measurement of electrical and non-electrical quantities, Simulation software Matlab-Simulink and ANSYS (basic knowledge).


Not applicable.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is taught through lectures explaining the basic principles and theory of the discipline. Teaching is suplemented by practical laboratory work.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

The students will solve reports from the exercises and labs and students create the final project, which are necessary for awarding the course-unit credit.

Course curriculum

Not applicable.

Work placements

Not applicable.


The objective of the course “Energy Harvesting” is to familiarize students with basic principles of energy harvesting systems as well as methods of electro-mechanical conversion, principle of photovoltaic cells and thermoelectric generators. The emphasis is on understanding the physical principles of energy harvesting methods mainly electro-mechanical conversion and simulation modelling of such mechatronic systems.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

Attendance in labs is required. Absence is compensated by special tasks according to instructions of the tutor.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Prerequisites and corequisites

Not applicable.

Basic literature

Shashank Priya, Daniel J. Inman: Energy Harvesting Technologies, Springer US, 2009 (EN)
Fiala, P., Kadlecová, E.: Modelování elektromagnetických polí, FEKT VUT v Brně, 2005. (CS)
Grepl, R.: Modelování mechatronických systémů v Matlab/SimMechanics, BEN, 2007. (CS)

Recommended reading

Mukherjee, S., et al.: AmIware Hardware Technology Drivers of Ambient Intelligence, Philips Research Book Series Vol. 5, Springer Netherlands, 2006. (EN)
Adams, Thomas M., Layton, Richard A.: Introductory MEMS Fabrication and Applications, 2010. (EN)

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme M2A-P Master's

    branch M-IMB , 2. year of study, winter semester, compulsory-optional
    branch M-MET , 2. year of study, winter semester, compulsory-optional

  • Programme M2I-P Master's

    branch M-AIŘ , 2. year of study, winter semester, elective (voluntary)
    branch M-AIŘ , 2. year of study, winter semester, elective (voluntary)

Type of course unit



13 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Introduction of energy harvesting technologies
2. Photovoltaic cells
3. Thermoelectric generators
4. Electro-mechanical conversion – physical principles
5. Electro-mechanical conversion – analysis of ambient vibration energy
6. Electromagnetic principle
7. Design of electromagnetic generators
8. Mechatronic system of energy harvesters
9. Piezoelectric principle
10. Piezoelectric materials and other SMART materials
11. Energy storage elements, Electronics – power management
12. Wireless sensor networks
13. MEMS

labs and studios

26 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Analysis of ambient energy for energy harvesting
2. Model of solar cells a thermo-electric generators
3. Thermoelectric module model
4. Thermoelectric energy harvesting system
5. Mechanical energetic analysis
6. Simulation and modelling of electromagnetic conversion
7. Model of magnetic field
8. Simulation modelling of complex electromagnetic generator
9. Measurement of energy harvesting generator
10. Model of piezoelectric elements and basic analysis
11. Model of piezo-generator
12. Model of power management electronics
13. Presentation of final projects