A hydrostatic pressure-cycle energy harvester

Michael W. Shafer, Gregory Hahn, Eric Morgan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


There have been a number of new applications for energy harvesting with the ever-decreasing power consumption of microelectronic devices. In this paper we explore a new area of marine animal energy harvesting for use in powering tags known as bio-loggers. These devices record data about the animal or its surroundings, but have always had limited deployment times due to battery depletion. Reduced solar irradiance below the water's surface provides the impetus to explore other energy harvesting concepts beyond solar power for use on marine animals. We review existing tag technologies in relation to this application, specifically relating to energy consumption. Additionally, we propose a new idea for energy harvesting, using hydrostatic pressure changes as a source for energy production. We present initial testing results of a bench-top model and show that the daily energy harvesting potential from this technology can meet or exceed that consumed by current marine bio-logging tags. The application of this concept in the arena of bio-logging technology could substantially increase bio-logger deployment lifetimes, allowing for longitudinal studies over the course of multiple breeding and/or migration cycles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationActive and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2015
EditorsAlper Erturk, Wei-Hsin Liao, Gyuhae Park
ISBN (Electronic)9781628415346
StatePublished - 2015
EventActive and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2015 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Mar 9 2015Mar 12 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceActive and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Bio-logging
  • Energy harvesting
  • Hydrostatic pressure
  • Marine
  • Tag
  • Wildlife telemetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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