A self-powered vibration monitoring and control system for stay cables: Numerical study

Songye Zhu, W. A. Shen, J. Li

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


This paper presents an innovative strategy to integrate damper system and sensor system together so as to drive sensors using the power output from dampers. This strategy not only solves the common power supply problem associated with emerging wireless sensors (WS), but also avoids the overheating problem observed in some conventional fluid dampers. As a key element in the integrated system, electromagnetic dampers (EMD) can convert vibration energy into electricity, and provide both vibration mitigation function and energy harvesting function when connected with appropriate energy harvesting circuits (EHC). A PID compensated buck converter operating in a continuous conduction mode is employed in the EHC to charge a rechargeable NiMH battery with the power output from the EMD. Bridge stay cables, which are vulnerable to excessive vibration due to their low damping and great flexibility, are one of potential applications of the proposed EMD-WS system. A coupled numerical model consisting of stay cable, EMD and EHC is established using Matlab Simulink toolbox. The simulation results reveal that the EMD connected to a PID compensated buck converter can effectively reduce the cable's vibration, and it achieves a slightly better control effect than conventional viscous damper because of the existence of the feedback control in the EHC. The average power harvested in this study is 30.49W, which is considerable compared to conventional micro energy harvesting devices and is able to power quite a few WS when stay cables are subject to excessive vibrations. The peak energy conversion efficiency of 36.7% was achieved. The performance of the EMD predicted in this study clearly demonstrates the feasibility of developing an integrated vibration monitoring and control system based on EMD and WS, and establishing a smart stay cable with superior self-powered and self-diagnostic features.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBridge Maintenance, Safety, Management, Resilience and Sustainability - Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2012
Event6th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management, IABMAS 2012 - Stresa, Lake Maggiore, Italy
Duration: 8 Jul 201212 Jul 2012


Conference6th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management, IABMAS 2012
CityStresa, Lake Maggiore

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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