Case 13708

Electromagnetic device with compact magnetic flux paths for optimal energy harvesting from fluid motion


Energy harvesting, magnetic flux, magnets, coils, flowing fluid, mechanical energy, fluid flow to energy conversion, electrical energy, drilling, downhole energy delivery


Powering downhole equipment using an electric generator driven by fluid flow in an oil well. General application includes powering other electrical equipments using fluid flow.


    Powering downhole and undersea equipment in remote locations via either stored energy or wireline connection is not ideal due to the necessity of retrieval for recharge and physical connection to the surface respectively.


This invention converts kinetic energy from flowing fluid into electrical energy to power downhole equipment in oil wells. Unlike previous designs, the polarization axis of the magnets is perpendicular to both the direction of relative motion, and to a surface defined by the coils. In addition, the magnets are arranged such that adjacent magnets are characterized by opposite polarizations. This configuration provides improved coupling of energy from the relative motion between magnets and coils.

  • Increases energy harvesting by generating electrical energy in a smaller volume of space for a given vibrational input.
  • Reduces form factors of energy harvesting devices.

  • Professor Jeffrey Lang (Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT)
  • Professor Alexander Slocum (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
  • A. Zachary Trimble (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
  • Hongshen Ma (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
  • Julio Guerrero (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
  • Jahir Pabon (Schlumberger Research Center)
  • Joachim Sihler (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

U.S. Patent Application Number 12/366119, filed February 5, 2009



Last revised:April 29, 2013

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