Wireless Power Transfer for Telemetric Devices With Variable Orientation, for Small Rodent Behavior Monitoring


Gathering behavioral and biological data from little rodents is vital for the study of various disease models in biomedical research. Such information acquisition requires a long-term powering method for telemetry electronics and radios, for that a wireless power transfer (WPT) scheme is desirable. This paper investigates a completely unique WPT system to deliver power from a stationary supply (primary coil) to a moving telemetric device (secondary coil) via magnetic resonance coupling. To conduct research with rodents effectively, they have to be ready to move freely inside their cage. However, the continuously changing orientation of the rodent ends up in coupling loss/problems between the first and secondary coils, presenting a significant challenge. We propose novel configurations of the secondary using ferrite rods placed at specific locations and orientations within the coil. 3-dimensional finite-part analysis using COMSOL software is employed to search out the magnetic flux density distribution surrounding these secondary configurations. The simulation results show a vital increase of flux through the coil using our ferrite arrangement, with improved coupling at most orientations. Physical prototypes of those secondary coil configurations were made and experiments were conducted to check their performance. Measurements show that ferrite rods improved power transfer at most orientations, beyond that of the nominal ferrite-less configuration. The employment of angled ferrite rods additional improved power transfer, where the medium-ferrite-angled (4MFA) configuration is best. Experiments show the most power collected by 4MFA was 113 mW, when parallel to the first coil, and 28 mW when 60° to the first coil.

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