Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical and Biomechanical Engineering

Major Advisor

Donald Plumlee


The military has become increasingly dependent on mobile electronic equipment to ensure success and safety of soldiers in remote locations. To operate the electronics, soldiers must carry batteries that can weigh up to 12kg (26.5lb). To decrease the load soldiers must carry, a backpack with an internal linear electric generator has been proposed to provide portable power for soldiers on foot. In designing a generator for this purpose, a simulation was developed to predict the power generation capacity of linear permanent magnet generators. This thesis presents work done to experimentally verify the theoretical simulation with a desired accuracy of 20%. An experimental power-testing apparatus was developed and used to test four geometries of generators. After initial comparisons gave unacceptable error, the magnetic field prediction was adjusted to provide better accuracy. After the adjustment, the model was shown to predict average power generation of the four generators within 11% accuracy. The simulation was then used to predict an optimal linear generator consisting of stator coils made of 32awg wire with 267 windings of wire.