Techno Press
Techno Press

Smart Structures and Systems   Volume 11, Number 5, May 2013, pages 555-567
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12989/sss.2013.11.5.555
 
Energy harvesting techniques for remote corrosion monitoring systems
Sehwan Kim and Ungjin Na

 
Abstract     [Full Text]
    An Remote Corrosion Monitoring (RCM) system consists of an anode with low potential, the metallic structures against corrosion, an electrode to provide reference potential, and a data-acquisition system to ensure the potential difference for anticorrosion. In more detail, the data-acquisition (DAQ) system monitors the potential difference between the metallic structures and a reference electrode to identify the correct potential level against the corrosion of the infrastructures. Then, the measured data are transmitted to a central office to remotely keep track of the status of the corrosion monitoring (CM) system. To date, the RCM system is designed to achieve low power consumption, so that it can be simply powered by batteries. However, due to memory effect and the limited number of recharge cycles, it can entail the maintenance fee or sometimes cause failure to protect the metallic structures. To address this issue, the low-overhead energy harvesting circuitry for the RCM systems has designed to replenish energy storage elements (ESEs) along with redeeming the leakage of supercapacitors. Our developed energy harvester can scavenge the ambient energy from the corrosion monitoring environments and store it as useful electrical energy for powering local data-acquisition systems. In particular, this paper considers the energy harvesting from potential difference due to galvanic corrosion between a metallic infrastructure and a permanent copper/copper sulfate reference electrode. In addition, supercapacitors are adopted as an ESE to compensate for or overcome the limitations of batteries. Experimental results show that our proposed harvesting schemes significantly reduce the overhead of the charging circuitry, which enable fully charging up to a 350-F supercapacitor under the low corrosion power of 3 mW (i.e., 1 V/3 mA).
 
Key Words
    energy harvesting; cathodic protection; remote corrosion monitoring system
 
Address
Sehwan Kim : Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Univ. of California, Irvine, 92697, USA
Ungjin Na: Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, Gwachun, Korea
 

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