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A novel pocket sun-tracking system was developed using a symmetric piezoelectric plate and a Ni-Co alloy micro-pusher element. A LIGA-like technique was employed to manufacture a Ni-Co alloy micro-pusher with a Vickers hardness value (HV) of 550, which was then attached at the midpoint of the long side of a piezoelectric plate with dual electrodes to construct a symmetric piezoelectric pusher element (SPPE). The research integrated the concept of LEGO® bricks, and three different vibration modes of the SPPE were designed to develop a miniaturization SPPE actuator, which was able to rotate a hemisphere concentrator lens along three perpendicular axes. The experiment demonstrated the pocket sun-tracking system moving precision to reach 1° and the rotation speeds to reach 50 rpm at a driving voltage of 30Vpp. In the future, this miniaturization SPPE actuator may be used for a number of applications, such as sun-tracking systems for green energy harvesters and bio-devices for use in the biomedical field.
Date of Conference: 5-9 June 2011