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To increase the vibration energy-harvesting capability of the piezoelectric generator based on a cantilever beam, we have proposed a piezoelectric generator that not only uses the strain change of piezoelectric components bonded on a cantilever beam, but also employs the weights at the tip of the cantilever beam to hit piezoelectric components located on the 2 sides of weights. A prototype of the piezoelectric generator has been fabricated and its characteristics have been measured and analyzed. The experimental results show that the piezoelectric components operating in the hit mode can substantially enhance the energy harvesting of the piezoelectric generator on a cantilever beam. Two methods are used and compared in the management of rectified output voltages from different groups of piezoelectric components. In one of them, the DC voltages from rectifiers are connected in series, and then the total DC voltage is applied to a capacitor. In another connection, the DC voltage from each group is applied to different capacitors. It is found that 22.3% of the harvested energy is wasted due to the series connection. The total output electric energy of our piezoelectric generator at nonresonance could be up to 43 nJ for one vibration excitation applied by spring, with initial vibration amplitude (0-p) of 18 mm and frequency of 18.5 Hz, when the rectified voltages from different groups of piezoelectric components are connected to their individual capacitors. In addition, the motion and impact of the weights at the tip of the cantilever beam are theoretically analyzed, which well explains the experimental phenomena and suggests the measures to improve the generator.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:57 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: February 2010