Low-Frequency and Broadband Vibration Energy Harvesting Using Base-Mounted Piezoelectric Transducers

Robert Koven, Matthew Mills, Richard Gale, Burak Aksak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Piezoelectric vibration energy harvesters often consist of a cantilevered beam composed of a support layer and one or two piezoelectric layers with a tip mass. While this configuration is advantageous for maximizing electromechanical coupling, the mechanical properties of the piezoelectric material can place limitations on harvester size and resonant frequency. Here, we present numerical and experimental results from a new type of piezoelectric energy harvester in which the mechanical properties and the resonant frequency of the cantilever beam resonator are effectively decoupled from the piezoelectric component. Referred to as a base-mounted piezoelectric (BMP) harvester in this paper, this new design features a piezoelectric transducer mounted beneath the base of the cantilevered beam resonator. The flexibility in the material choice for the cantilever beam resonator means that the resonant frequency and the beam dimensions are essentially free parameters. A prototype made with a 1.6 mm 4.9mm 20.0mm polyurethane beam, a PZT-5H piezoelectric transducer, and an 8.36-g tip mass is shown to produce an average power of 8.75 and 113mu textW at 45 Hz across a 13.0-textMOmega load under harmonic base excitations of constant peak acceleration at 0.25 and 1.0-g, respectively. We also show an increase in full-width half-maximum bandwidth approximately from 1.5 to 5.6 Hz using an array of four individual BMP harvesters of similar dimensions with peak power generation of 10.38mu textW at 37.6 Hz across a 1.934-textMega load at 0.25-g peak base excitation. Finite elements-based numerical simulations are shown to be in reasonable agreement with experimental results, indicating that the harvester behaves like a damped mass-spring system as proposed in this paper. Fabricated using casting and laser machining techniques, this harvester shows potential as a low-cost option for powering small, low-power wireless sensor nodes and other low-power devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8010440
Pages (from-to)1735-1743
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Volume64
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Broadband
  • energy harvesting
  • low frequency
  • piezoelectric transducers
  • polymer beam
  • vibration

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