Towards Magnetic Field Energy Harvesting near Electrified Railway Tracks
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This paper evaluates the feasibility of magnetic field energy harvesting (MFEH) near electrified railway tracks, for the purpose of increasing the lifetime of distributed condition monitoring systems. Since MFEH is a novel concept for railway applications, relevant previous work from a power grid context is employed. Using a theoretical model along with simulations, it is estimated that the power output of a solenoid placed near the return current may be sufficient for a monitoring system designed for low-power operation and low-duty-cycle wireless communication. The magnetic induction is estimated to be at least 25 μT at a distance of 0.5 m from the closest rail, and it is argued that an efficient induction energy harvester placed in this magnetic field could potentially increase the lifetime of condition monitoring systems indefinitely.