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Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10458-10473; doi:10.3390/s111110458

Temperature Field Analysis for PZT Pyroelectric Cells for Thermal Energy Harvesting

1,* , 1
1 Department of Mechanical Design Engineering, National Formosa University, No. 64, Wunhua Rd., Huwei Township, Yunlin County 632, Taiwan 2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Yuan Ze Fuel Cell Center, Yuan Ze University, No. 135, Yuan-Tung Rd., Taoyuan 320, Taiwan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 September 2011 / Revised: 26 October 2011 / Accepted: 31 October 2011 / Published: 2 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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This paper proposes the idea of etching PZT to improve the temperature variation rate of a thicker PZT sheet in order to enhance the energy conversion efficiency when used as pyroelectric cells. A partially covered electrode was proven to display a higher output response than a fully covered electrode did. A mesh top electrode monitored the temperature variation rate and the electrode area. The mesh electrode width affected the distribution of the temperature variation rate in a thinner pyroelectric material. However, a pyroelectric cell with a thicker pyroelectric material was beneficial in generating electricity pyroelectrically. The PZT sheet was further etched to produce deeper cavities and a smaller electrode width to induce lateral temperature gradients on the sidewalls of cavities under homogeneous heat irradiation, enhancing the temperature variation rate.
Keywords: pyroelectricity; PZT; thermal energy; temperature variation rate pyroelectricity; PZT; thermal energy; temperature variation rate
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Hsiao, C.-C.; Ciou, J.-C.; Siao, A.-S.; Lee, C.-Y. Temperature Field Analysis for PZT Pyroelectric Cells for Thermal Energy Harvesting. Sensors 2011, 11, 10458-10473.

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