The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 117 [Completed (IDEA)]

Self-Powered Sensors and Actuators for Bridges
[ NCHRP 20-30 (NCHRP-IDEA) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Inam Jawed

Life-cycle monitoring of civil infrastructure such as bridges is critical to the long-term operational cost and safety of aging structures. Monitoring transportation infrastructure includes collecting a variety of data types, such as vibration and strain data, temperature and humidity, pavement salinity, etc. Localized monitoring of bridge structural elements may require placement of a dense sensor array on the structure. Many locations may be difficult to access. As any practitioner knows, placing sensors on a structure requires a way to collect data from the sensors and a way of providing power to the sensors. This project addressed development of a micro-power (100-200mW peak) electromechanical machine and energy storage unit that generated electrical power from ambient vibration of bridges. The electromechanical design is durable and maintenance-free, was easily installed, and generates power comparable to a battery power for sensors and actuators. Energy generated by the harvesting device was used to power wireless sensors that measure and wirelessly transmit bridge information such as temperature and vibration to a central location for analysis. 

The final report for this IDEA project can be found at:

To create a link to this page, use this URL: http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=2087