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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

Department of Mechanical Design Engineering, National Formosa University, No. 64, Wunhua Rd., Huwei Township, Yunlin County 632, Taiwan
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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MDPI and ACS Style

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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