Multimodal piezoelectric devices optimization for energy harvesting

G Acciani, A Dimucci, L Lorusso


The use of the piezoelectric effect to convert ambient vibration into useful electrical energy constitutes one of the most studied areas in Energy Harvesting (EH) research. This paper presents a typical cantilevered Energy Harvester device, which relates the electrical outputs to the vibration mode shape easily. The dynamic strain induced in the piezoceramic layer results in an alternating voltage output. The first six modes of frequencies and the deformation pattern of the beam are carried out basing on an eigenfrequency analysis conducted by the MEMS modules of the COMSOL Multiphysic® v3.5a to perform the Finite Element Analysis of the model. Subsequently, the piezoelectric material is cut around the inflection points to minimize the voltage cancellation effect occurring when the sign changes in the material. This study shows that the voltage produced by the device, increases in as the dimensions of the cuts vary in the piezoelectric layer. Such voltage reaches the optimum amount of piezoelectric material and cuts positioning. This proves that the optimized piezoelectric layer is 16% more efficient than the whole piezoelectric layer.

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