Electromechanical modeling and experimental analysis of a compression-based piezoelectric vibration energy harvester

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Smart and Nano Materials, 2014, 5 (3), pp. 152 - 168
Issue Date:
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Over the past few decades, wireless sensor networks have been widely used in the field of structure health monitoring of civil, mechanical, and aerospace systems. Currently, most wireless sensor networks are battery-powered and it is costly and unsustainable for maintenance because of the requirement for frequent battery replacements. As an attempt to address such issue, this article theoretically and experimentally studies a compression-based piezoelectric energy harvester using a multilayer stack configuration, which is suitable for civil infrastructure system applications where large compressive loads occur, such as heavily vehicular loading acting on pavements. In this article, we firstly present analytical and numerical modeling of the piezoelectric multilayer stack under axial compressive loading, which is based on the linear theory of piezoelectricity. A two-degree-of-freedom electromechanical model, considering both the mechanical and electrical aspects of the proposed harvester, was developed to characterize the harvested electrical power under the external electrical load. Exact closed-form expressions of the electromechanical models have been derived to analyze the mechanical and electrical properties of the proposed harvester. The theoretical analyses are validated through several experiments for a test prototype under harmonic excitations. The test results exhibit very good agreement with the analytical analyses and numerical simulations for a range of resistive loads and input excitation levels. © 2014 The Author(s).
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