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A new piezoelectric energy harvesting design concept: multimodal energy harvesting skin

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2 Author(s)
Soobum Lee ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Univ. of Maryland at Coll. Park, College Park, MD, USA ; Youn, B.D.

This paper presents an advanced design concept for a piezoelectric energy harvesting (EH), referred to as multimodal EH skin. This EH design facilitates the use of multimodal vibration and enhances power harvesting efficiency. The multimodal EH skin is an extension of our previous work, EH skin, which was an innovative design paradigm for a piezoelectric energy harvester: a vibrating skin structure and an additional thin piezoelectric layer in one device. A computational (finite element) model of the multilayered assembly-the vibrating skin structure and piezoelectric layer-is constructed and the optimal topology and/or shape of the piezoelectric layer is found for maximum power generation from multiple vibration modes. A design rationale for the multimodal EH skin was proposed: designing a piezoelectric material distribution and external resistors. In the material design step, the piezoelectric material is segmented by inflection lines from multiple vibration modes of interests to minimize voltage cancellation. The inflection lines are detected using the voltage phase. In the external resistor design step, the resistor values are found for each segment to maximize power output. The presented design concept, which can be applied to any engineering system with multimodal harmonic-vibrating skins, was applied to two case studies: an aircraft skin and a power transformer panel. The excellent performance of multimodal EH skin was demonstrated, showing larger power generation than EH skin without segmentation or unimodal EH skin.

Published in:

Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:58 ,  Issue: 3 )