Comparative study of electrical and switch-skipping mechanical switch for self-powered SSHI in medium coupled piezoelectric vibration energy harvesters

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Journal Article
Smart Materials and Structures, 2018, 27 (7)
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© 2018 IOP Publishing Ltd. To increase output power for piezoelectric vibration energy harvesters, considerable attention has recently been focused on a self-powered synchronized switch harvesting on inductor (SSHI) technique employing an electrical and mechanical switch. However, there are two technical issues: in a medium or highly coupled harvester, the piezoelectric coupling force, which increases as the SSHI's voltage increases, will reduce the harvester's displacement and the resulting output power, and there are few reports comparing the performance of electrical switch SSHI (ESS) and mechanical switch SSHI (MSS) that include consideration of the piezoelectric coupling force. We developed a simulation technique that allows us to evaluate the output power considering the piezoelectric coupling force, and investigated the performance of stopper-based MSS and ESS, both numerically and experimentally. The numerical investigation predicted the following: (1) the output power for the ESS is lower than that for the MSS at acceleration lower than 3.5 m s-2; and (2) intriguingly, the output power for the MSS continues to increase, whereas the peak-peak displacement remains constant. The experimental results showed behaviour similar to that of the numerical predictions. The results are attributed to the different switching strategies: the MSS turns on only when the harvester's displacement exceeds the gap distance, while the ESS turns on at every maximum/minimum displacement.
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