Magnetic Field Energy Harvesting Under Overhead Power Lines

Sheng Yuan, Yi Huang, Jiafeng Zhou, Qian Xu, Chaoyun Song, Pete Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)


Condition monitoring for overhead power lines is critical for power transmission networks to improve their reliability, detect potential problems in the early stage, and ensure the utilization of the transmitting full capacity. Energy harvesting can be an effective solution for autonomous self-powered wireless sensors. In this paper, a novel bow-tie-shaped coil is proposed, which is placed directly under overhead power lines to scavenge the magnetic field energy. Compared to the conventional method by mounting the energy harvester on the power lines, this approach provides more flexibility and space to power bigger sensors such as the weather station. As the harvesting coil cannot entirely enclose the power lines, the demagnetization factor that is closely related to the core geometry should be considered and optimized. Thus a new bow-tie-shape core is designed to produce a much lower demagnetization factor (hence more power) than that of the conventional solenoid. The selection of core material is studied and found that Mn-Zn ferrite is the most suitable core material because it greatly reduces the eddy current losses and also has high permeability. Experiment results show that the bow-tie coil could have a power density of 1.86 μW/cm 3 when placed in a magnetic flux density of 7 μT rms . This value is 15 times greater than the reported results under the same condition. If a longer bow-tie coil with more turns is placed in a magnetic flux density of 11μT rms , the produced power density is 103.5 μW/cm 3 , which is comparable to a solar panel working during a cloudy day. Thus, the proposed solution is a very efficient and attractive method for harvesting the magnetic field energy for a range of monitoring applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6191-6202
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


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