Albido is an early stage technology company focusing on structural health monitoring using wireless Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) sensors and energy harvesting. Albido is a privately owned Colorado Corporation.
Albido believes that monitoring of mechanical structures and early detection of potential failures is becoming more and more important and that sensors connected with wires to a central data processing location are impractical, especially for moving structures such as jet engine -, helicopter – and wind turbine blades. Also, Albido believes that batteries (primary and/or rechargeable) are a weak link in any system, since they have to be maintained, add cost and have to be replaced periodically. Albido’s sensors can operate in harsh environments; they will cover a wide temperature range from about -60 oC to approximately +900 oC and they will withstand large accelerations (for example, more than 60,000g of centripetal acceleration in a jet engine). This is accomplished by careful selection of the sensor materials and the processing technology as well as the attachment scheme. Wireless SAW sensors are passive, i.e. they do not require a local power supply such as a battery. Albido’s sensors will be powered either by an external electromagnetic field emanating from a Reader system (similar to RFID technology) or by energy harvesting or a combination of both. There is usually sufficient energy available in the environment in some form to power electronic systems efficiently, giving them essentially unlimited life.
Albido will initially focus on structural health monitoring (SHM) with SAW sensors, but its long term mission is to add energy harvesting to its structural health monitoring products.
Albido’s energy harvesting technology is using the piezoelectric effect to convert mechanical (kinetic) energy to electrical energy, store it in an appropriate form and use it to power electronic devices. Albido has invented and patented a proprietary method to significantly improve the power density of a piezoelectric energy harvester. Albido’s energy harvesting device produces approximately 50 milliwatt (mW) with a power density of approximately 100 mW/cm3.