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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1340402, 21 pages
Review Article

Review of Energy Harvesters Utilizing Bridge Vibrations

Institute of Mechatronics Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar 25000, Pakistan

Received 20 April 2015; Revised 3 September 2015; Accepted 13 September 2015

Academic Editor: Jeong-Hoi Koo

Copyright © 2016 Farid Ullah Khan and Iftikhar Ahmad. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


For health monitoring of bridges, wireless acceleration sensor nodes (WASNs) are normally used. In bridge environment, several forms of energy are available for operating WASNs that include wind, solar, acoustic, and vibration energy. However, only bridge vibration has the tendency to be utilized for embedded WASNs application in bridge structures. This paper reports on the recent advancements in the area of vibration energy harvesters (VEHs) utilizing bridge oscillations. The bridge vibration is narrowband (1 to 40 Hz) with low acceleration levels (0.01 to 3.8 g). For utilization of bridge vibration, electromagnetic based vibration energy harvesters (EM-VEHs) and piezoelectric based vibration energy harvesters (PE-VEHs) have been developed. The power generation of the reported EM-VEHs is in the range from 0.7 to 1450000 μW. However, the power production by the developed PE-VEHs ranges from 0.6 to 7700 μW. The overall size of most of the bridge VEHs is quite comparable and is in mesoscale. The resonant frequencies of EM-VEHs are on the lower side (0.13 to 27 Hz) in comparison to PE-VEHs (1 to 120 Hz). The power densities reported for these bridge VEHs range from 0.01 to 9539.5 μW/cm3 and are quite enough to operate most of the commercial WASNs.