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Design study of piezoelectric energy-harvesting devices for generation of higher electrical power using a coupled piezoelectric-circuit finite element method

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3 Author(s)
Meiling Zhu ; Dept. of Mater., Cranfield Univ., Cranfield, UK ; Worthington, E. ; Tiwari, A.

This paper presents a design study on the geometric parameters of a cantilever-based piezoelectric energy-harvesting devices (EHD), which harvest energy from motion (vibration), for the purpose of scavenging more energy from ambient vibration energy sources. The design study is based on the coupled piezoelectric-circuit finite element method (CPCFEM), previously presented by Dr. Zhu. This model can calculate the power output of piezoelectric EHDS directly connected to a load resistor and is used in this paper to obtain the following simulation results for variations in geometric parameters such as the beam length, width and thickness, and the mass length, width, and height: 1) the current flowing through and the voltage developed across the load resistor, 2) the power dissipated by the resistor and the corresponding vibrational displacement amplitude, and 3) the resonant frequency. By studying these results, straightforward design strategies that enable the generation of more power are obtained for each geometric parameter, and a physical understanding of how each parameter affects the output power is given. It is suggested that, in designing with the aim of generating more power, the following strategies be used: 1) for the beam, a shorter length, larger width, and lower ratio of piezoelectric layer thickness to total beam thickness are preferred in the case of a fixed mass; 2) for the mass, a shortened mass length and a higher mass height are preferred in the case of variation in the mass length and the mass height with mass width and mass value remain fixed, and a wider width and small mass height are preferred in the case of variation in mass width and height (mass length and value remain fixed; and 3) for the case of a fixed total length, a shorter beam length and longer mass length are preferred. With the design strategies, output powers from the device can reach above 1 to 2 mW/cm3, much higher than the 200 ?W/cm3 currently achieved in - he published literature. This is an encouraging prospect for enabling a wider range of applications of the EHDs. In addition, physical insights into how each parameter influences output power are also discussed in detail.

Published in:

Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:57 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

February 2010

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