phat 16(7): e4

Research Article

Estimating Calorie Expenditure from Output Voltage of Piezoelectric Energy Harvester - an Experimental Feasibility Study

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/eai.28-9-2015.2261453,
        author={Guohao Lan and Sara Khalifa and Mahbub Hassan and Wen Hu},
        title={Estimating Calorie Expenditure from Output Voltage of Piezoelectric Energy Harvester - an Experimental Feasibility Study},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Pervasive Health and Technology},
        volume={2},
        number={7},
        publisher={ACM},
        journal_a={PHAT},
        year={2015},
        month={12},
        keywords={piezoelectric energy harvester, accelerometer, calorie expenditure estimation},
        doi={10.4108/eai.28-9-2015.2261453}
    }
    
  • Guohao Lan
    Sara Khalifa
    Mahbub Hassan
    Wen Hu
    Year: 2015
    Estimating Calorie Expenditure from Output Voltage of Piezoelectric Energy Harvester - an Experimental Feasibility Study
    PHAT
    EAI
    DOI: 10.4108/eai.28-9-2015.2261453
Guohao Lan1,*, Sara Khalifa1, Mahbub Hassan1, Wen Hu1
  • 1: School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia; National ICT Australia, Alexandria, NSW, Australia
*Contact email: glan@cse.unsw.edu.au

Abstract

There is a growing interest in developing energy harvesting solutions for wearable devices so they can self-power themselves without relying on batteries. Piezoelectric energy harvesters (PEHs) can convert kinetic energy released from human activities into usable electrical energy for powering various electronic circuits inside the wearable device. Intuitively, the kinetic energy is produced because the user expends some calories during the physical activities. We therefore postulate that the voltage output of a PEH in a wearable device should contain information that can be used to estimate the amount of calorie expended. If this is true, then the PEH can be used as a new source for calorie estimation. Unlike conventional sensors, such as accelerometers, a PEH does not consume any power, which would make this new source very attractive. In this paper, using real PEH hardware and the data collected from ten real subjects, we conduct an experimental study to assess the suitability of PEH voltage in estimating calorie expenditure for two different activities, walking and running. We find that, for most subjects, the calorie estimations obtained from the output voltage of PEH is very close to those obtained from a 3-axial accelerometer.