Skip to Main Content
The pyroelectric properties of Pb(Zn1/3Nb2/3)0.055Ti0.045BO3 single crystals versus an electric field have been studied for energy harvesting in this paper. Two thermodynamic cycles (Stirling and Ericsson) were used for this purpose. By applying an electric field, a FE-FE transition was induced, abruptly increasing the polarization. This transition minimized the supplied energy and improved the harvested energy. By discharging the single crystal at a higher temperature, a gain of 1100% was obtained with the Stirling cycle at 1 kV/rnrn (gain is defined as harvested energy divided by supplied energy). The study revealed that Stirling cycles are more interesting for low electric fields. Based on experimental results, simulations were carried out to estimate energy harvesting in high electric fields to evaluate the performances of thin samples (single crystals or oriented thin films). At high electric fields, both cycles gave almost the same energy harvesting, but Ericsson cycles were more appropriate to control the voltage on the sample. The simulation led to a harvested energy of 500 mj/g for an applied electric field equal to 50 kV/mm. The efficiency with respect to Carnot was raised 20%.