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A method of continuously harvesting energy from pyroelectric materials is demonstrated using an innovative cyclic heating scheme. In traditional pyroelectric energy harvesting methods, static heating sources are used, and most of the available energy has to be harvested at once. A cyclic heating system is developed such that the temperature varies between hot and cold regions. Although the energy harvested during each period of the heating cycle is small, the accumulated total energy over time may exceed traditional methods. Three materials are studied: a commonly available soft lead zirconate titanate (PZT), a pre-stressed PZT composite, and single-crystal PMN-30PT. Radiation heating and natural cooling are used such that, at smaller cyclic frequencies, the temporal rate of change in temperature is large enough to produce high power densities. The maximum power density of 8.64 μW/cm3 is generated with a PMN-30PT single crystal at an angular velocity of 0.64 rad/s with a rate of 8.5°C/s. The pre-stressed PZT composite generated a power density of 6.31 μW/cm3, which is 40% larger than the density of 4.48 μW/cm3 obtained from standard PZT.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:58 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: January 2011