Characterization of human body-based thermal and vibration energy harvesting for wearable devices

Maisam Wahbah, Mohammad Alhawari, Baker Mohammad, Hani Saleh, Mohammed Ismail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Energy harvesting is an important enabling technology necessary to unleash the next shift in mm-scale and μ W power computing devices, especially for wireless sensor nodes. Energy harvesting could play an important role in biomedical devices where it extends the lifetime of the system. Furthermore, it eliminates the need for periodic maintenance such as exchanging or recharging the battery. This paper presents experimental results of thermal and vibration energy harvested from human body using the thermoelectric generator and the piezo electric harvester, respectively. Contemporary research revealed that most of the published data, including harvesters datasheets, are adjusted for industrial or laboratory-setting environment. This paper focuses on obtaining experimental data from the human body using off-the-shelf harvesters, and discrete electrical components. Our experimental results showed that for 9 cm2area of thermoelectric generator, up to 20 μW of power can be generated at 22° C room temperature. In addition, 0.5 cm3piezo electric harvester can generate up to 3.7 μW when running at 7 mi/h. These data correspond to a power density of 2.2 μW/cm2and 7.4 μW/cm3for thermoelectric generator and piezo electric harvester, respectively. As such, the harvested energy from thermal and vibration of human body could potentially power autonomous wearable and implantable devices.

Original languageBritish English
Article number6866930
Pages (from-to)354-363
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Journal on Emerging and Selected Topics in Circuits and Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014


  • Energy harvesting
  • piezo electric harvester
  • thermoelectric generator
  • ultra-low power systems
  • wearable devices
  • wireless sensor nodes


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of human body-based thermal and vibration energy harvesting for wearable devices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this