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MEMS & Piezoelectric Devices Blog Posts

MEMS Energy Harvester for Reusing Waste Heat

September 24, 2013

Today we welcome another guest post from Kyle Koppenhoefer of AltaSim Technologies, a COMSOL Certified Consultant. In this entry he will discuss modeling MEMS energy harvesting devices. During our recent webinar with COMSOL on thermal-structure interaction modeling, we at AltaSim Technologies demonstrated modeling of a MEMS energy harvester that scavenges waste heat. Examples of sources for waste heat range from microprocessor chips, to internal combustion engines, to chemical processing plants. If the waste heat generated from these cases could be […]

Modeling Magnetostriction Using COMSOL Multiphysics®

August 26, 2013

If you have ever stood next to a transformer, you have probably heard a humming sound coming from it and wondered if there were bees close by. When you hear that sound the next time, you can rest assured that it’s not bees but the magnetostriction of the transformer core that is making that humming sound.

Ultrasonic Micro Motors, It’s all in the Shape

December 12, 2012

A while back, I wrote about permanent magnet generators and how they generate electricity upon being set in motion. When browsing the papers from our conference in Bangalore, one on the topic of ultrasonic micro motors caught my eye. These motors are electromechanical in nature and instead initiate motion with the application of an electric voltage. Furthermore, these motors are miniaturized to fit a micro-scale environment.

Microfluidics Model of an Electroosmotic Micromixer

October 31, 2012

When you need to mix something at a very small scale you don’t reach for a teeny-tiny whisk. If you’re working with microscale biochemical applications you’d be more likely to rely on diffusion to mix fluids. With highly ordered laminar flow there is no turbulence involved, thus making diffusion a prime candidate for “getting the job done”. But what if you need to mix larger molecules? Larger molecules mean higher molecular weight, which in turn leads to very long equilibration […]

New Product that Helps Electrical and Electronics Engineers

October 18, 2012

As much as we would like to think that finite element analysis (FEA) is the be-all and end-all of simulations, it’s not true. There is also a camp of engineers out there that model integrated circuits and similar systems. These are based on different physics and equations than what FEA typically solves for. Yet, as is happening more and more in the world of virtual prototyping, the two types of simulations are converging. Now they need to integrate with each […]

What Is Piezoelectricity?

July 30, 2012

All this talk about piezoelectricity got me thinking about how surrounded we are by everyday items whose performances rely on this physical process. Examples include inkjet printers, speakers, electric guitars, and ultrasound imaging systems. With so many different common objects utilizing this phenomenon, it may lead you to wonder: what is piezoelectricity?

Piezoelectric Energy Harvester Helps Increase a Car’s Efficiency

July 26, 2012

Much has been written lately about increasing the energy efficiency of cars. Batteries and fuel cells are very hot topics, and not so long ago I blogged about the University of Michigan’s use of solar cells to fully power a car. Yet, even on the smallest of scales, such as the sensors in your car, improvements are being made. Utilizing a MEMS (Micro Electromechanical System) piezoelectric energy harvester, Alexander Frej and Ingo Kuehne at Siemens Corporate Technology in Munich are […]

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