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We present a new piezoelectric flow energy harvester (PFEH) based on a piezoelectric cantilever (PEC) with a cylindrical extension. The flow-induced vibration of the cylindrical extension causes the PEC to vibrate at the natural frequency of the PFEH. The PFEH provides a low-cost, compact, and scalable power source for small electronics by harvesting energy from ambient flows such as wind and water streams. Prototypes were tested in both laminar and turbulent air flows, demonstrating the feasibility of the design. Turbulence excitation was found to be the dominant driving mechanism of the PFEH with additional vortex shedding excitation contribution in the lock-in region.
Date of Publication: March 2013