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Sensors 2012, 12(1), 534-548; doi:10.3390/s120100534

Improvement of Pyroelectric Cells for Thermal Energy Harvesting

Department of Mechanical Design Engineering, National Formosa University, No. 64, Wunhua Rd., Huwei Township, Yunlin County 632, Taiwan
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Received: 15 December 2011 / Revised: 1 January 2012 / Accepted: 3 January 2012 / Published: 5 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

This study proposes trenching piezoelectric (PZT) material in a thicker PZT pyroelectric cell to improve the temperature variation rate to enhance the efficiency of thermal energy-harvesting conversion by pyroelectricity. A thicker pyroelectric cell is beneficial in generating electricity pyroelectrically, but it hinders rapid temperature variations. Therefore, the PZT sheet was fabricated to produce deeper trenches to cause lateral temperature gradients induced by the trenched electrode, enhancing the temperature variation rate under homogeneous heat irradiation. When the trenched electrode type with an electrode width of 200 μm and a cutting depth of 150 μm was used to fabricate a PZT pyroelectric cell with a 200 μm thick PZT sheet, the temperature variation rate was improved by about 55%. Therefore, the trenched electrode design did indeed enhance the temperature variation rate and the efficiency of pyroelectric energy converters. View Full-Text
Keywords: pyroelectricity; thermal energy; temperature variation rate; electrode pyroelectricity; thermal energy; temperature variation rate; electrode
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.; Siao, A.-S.; Ciou, J.-C. Improvement of Pyroelectric Cells for Thermal Energy Harvesting. Sensors 2012, 12, 534-548.

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