Piezoelectric compliant mechanism energy harvesters under large base excitations

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Abstract

A piezoelectric compliant mechanism (PCM) energy harvester is designed, modeled, and analyzed that consists of a polyvinylidene diflouoride, PVDF unimorph clamped at its base and attached to a compliant mechanism at its tip. The compliant hinge stiffness is carefully tuned to approach a low frequency first mode with an efficient (nearly quadratic) shape that provides a uniform strain distribution. A nonlinear model of the PCM energy harvester under large base excitation is derived to determine the maximum power that can be generated by the device. Experiments with a fabricated PCM energy harvester prototype show that the compliant mechanism introduces a stiffening effect and a much wider bandwidth than a benchmark proof mass cantilever design. The PCM bridge structure self-limits the displacement and maximum strain at large excitations compared with the proof mass cantilever, improving the device robustness. The PCM outperforms the cantilever in both average power and power-strain sensitivity at high accelerations due to the PCM axial stretching effect and its more uniform strain distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number095023
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Volume25
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 9 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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