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This paper studies the performance of an energy harvester with a piezoelectric bimorph (PB) and a real electrochemical battery (ECB), both are connected as an integrated system through a rectified dc-dc converter (DDC). A vibrating PB can scavenge energy from the operating environment by the electromechanical coupling. A DDC can effectively match the optimal output voltage of the harvesting structure to the battery voltage. To raise the output power density of PB, a synchronized switch harvesting inductor (SSHI) is used in parallel with the harvesting structure to reverse the voltage through charge transfer between the output electrodes at the transition moments from closed-to open-circuit. Voltage reversal results in earlier arrival of rectifier conduction because the output voltage phases of any two adjacent closed-circuit states are just opposite each other. In principle, a PB is with a smaller, flexural stiffness under closed-circuit condition than under open-circuit condition. Thus, the PB subjected to longer closed-circuit condition will be easier to be accelerated. A larger flexural velocity makes the PB to deflect with larger amplitude, which implies that more mechanical energy will be converted into an electric one. Nonlinear interface between the vibrating PB and the modulating circuit is analyzed in detail, and the effects of SSHI and DDC on the charging efficiency of the storage battery are researched numerically. It was found that the introduction of a DDC in the modulating circuit and an SSHI in the harvesting structure can raise the charging efficiency by several times.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:55 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: January 2008