Title: Human power generation design assessment: an evaluation of ergonomic risk, metabolic burden, and overall design efficiency

Authors: Richard T. Stone

Addresses: Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department, Mechanical Engineering Department, Iowa State University, 3004 Black Engineering Building, Ames, Iowa, 50014, USA

Abstract: The ability to generate power from human motion is gaining more interest as electronic devices become a ubiquitous part of our lives. In this research, we report on a broad assessment of nine human power generation (HPG) devices. The objective of the evaluation was to investigate the impact that HPG design has in terms of ergonomics risks, perceived exertion, energy generation potential, metabolic requirement, and overall energy efficiency. Sixteen participants served as test subjects, each of whom were tasked with using the nine HPG devices. Subject data was collected using electrocardiogram (EKG), respiration, rapid entire body assessment (REBA) and relative perceived exertion (RPE) measures with a Labview system monitoring electrical generation activity attributed to the HPG devices themselves. The results indicated that the designs tested differed significantly in terms of ergonomics risks and overall energy efficiency. Overall, the knee brace and seat compression devices performed best. The lowest rated HPG devices included the slider and stretch pulling designs.

Keywords: human-powered energy systems; human power generation; energy scavenging; design evaluation; product evaluation; design assessment; ergonomic risks; metabolic burden; design efficiency; human motion; risk assessment; perceived exertion; energy generation potential; metabolic requirement; energy efficiency; ergonomics; electrocardiogram; ECG; respiration; rapid entire body assessment; REBA; relative perceived exertion; RPE; monitoring; electrical generation activity; knee brace devices; seat compression devices; slider design; stretch pulling design.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFE.2012.050861

International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2012 Vol.1 No.3, pp.282 - 297

Received: 13 Apr 2012
Accepted: 16 Jul 2012

Published online: 16 Aug 2014 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article