Vibration-based energy harvesters using piezoelectric materials have long made use of the cantilever beam structure. Surmounting the deficiencies in one-dimensional cantilever-based energy harvesters has been a major focus in the literature. In this work, we demonstrate a strategy of using two-dimensional beam shapes to harvest energy from low frequency excitations. A characteristic Zigzag-shaped beam is created to compare against the two proposed two-dimensional beam shapes, all of which occupy a 25.4 × 25.4 mm2 area. In addition to maintaining the low-resonance bending frequency, the proposed beam shapes are designed with the goal of realizing a concentrated stress structure, whereby stress in the beam is concentrated in a single area where a piezoelectric layer may be placed, rather than being distributed throughout the beam. It is shown analytically, numerically, and experimentally that one of the proposed harvesters is able to provide significant increase in power production, when the base acceleration is set equal to 0.1 g, with only a minimal change in the resonant frequency compared to the current state-of-the-art Zigzag shape. This is accomplished by eliminating torsional effects, producing a more pure bending motion that is necessary for high electromechanical coupling. In addition, the proposed harvesters have a large effective beam tip whereby large tip mass may be placed while retaining a low-profile, resulting in a low volume harvester and subsequently large power density.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)