Resonant Electro-Mechanical Coupling – A Possible Renewable Energy Source

  • Mark L Gordon, PhD Gauteng Department of Health
Keywords: Mass-spring system, Q-factor, RCL circuit, Resonance


This paper looks at a simple Electro-Mechanical System that is tuned to resonate with both mechanical and electrical resonance. The intention is to couple the system resonance such that the amplitude of the output voltage is increased. The basic setup consists of a forced Mass-Spring System consisting of a speaker driving a mass attached to a tension-spring. The mass is a Neodymium cylindrical magnet. The vertically driven system couples to a magnet coil which sits over the magnet. Thus, by induction a voltage is generated within the coil. The coil is connected in series with a set of electrolytic capacitors. The resulting Resistor-Capacitor-Inductor (RCL) circuit is so designed as to resonate. The idea behind this coupling is to increase the output voltage of the circuit, thereby creating a voltage supply that could be boosted via transformer action, if necessary. Noting that the resulting circuit provides a source of single-phase electricity, such a setup could be used to charge small electronic devices like cellphones and mobile earphone sets. Mechanical resonance is indicated by the erratic vibration of the speaker, spring and magnet system. Knowing the magnet mass and measured resonant frequency the approximate spring constant can be calculated. The resonant frequency is then used as the driving frequency for the electrical circuit consisting of the RCL components. Noting the electric circuit resonance frequency, the approximate capacitance needed can be calculated using the driving frequency and the inductance of the said magnet coil. Using the circuit capacitance and appropriate circuit resistance, the maximised quality factor is sought, therefore the objective of the electric circuit design is to maximise the output voltage. The power generated by the device was found to be less than ~1 W. This system can be optimized to deliver maximum power output at the required resonant frequency, by greatly increasing the coil turns, using closer tolerances between the moving magnet and the wound coil and/or using materials that would ensure added magnetic coupling. Such a system can be used as a possible source of renewable energy especially on reciprocating engines, where exciting forces are available.

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Author Biography

Mark L Gordon, PhD, Gauteng Department of Health

Gauteng Department of Health – Infrastructure Management Unit

Former Part-time Lecturer Dept of Electrical and Mining Engineering - Unisa


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How to Cite
Gordon, M. (2024). Resonant Electro-Mechanical Coupling – A Possible Renewable Energy Source. Africa Journal of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, 9(1), 36-45.