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Open AccessArticle

Efficiency Enhancement of a Cantilever-Based Vibration Energy Harvester

by Ali E. Kubba 1,* and Kyle Jiang 2
Fusion Innovations Ltd., Research and Innovation Services, Birmingham Research Park, Vincent Drive, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2SQ, UK
School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2014, 14(1), 188-211;
Received: 15 November 2013 / Revised: 7 December 2013 / Accepted: 10 December 2013 / Published: 23 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
Extracting energy from ambient vibration to power wireless sensor nodes has been an attractive area of research, particularly in the automotive monitoring field. This article reports the design, analysis and testing of a vibration energy harvesting device based on a miniature asymmetric air-spaced cantilever. The developed design offers high power density, and delivers electric power that is sufficient to support most wireless sensor nodes for structural health monitoring (SHM) applications. The optimized design underwent three evolutionary steps, starting from a simple cantilever design, going through an air-spaced cantilever, and ending up with an optimized air-spaced geometry with boosted power density level. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was used as an initial tool to compare the three geometries’ stiffness (K), output open-circuit voltage (Vave), and average normal strain in the piezoelectric transducer (εave) that directly affect its output voltage. Experimental tests were also carried out in order to examine the energy harvesting level in each of the three designs. The experimental results show how to boost the power output level in a thin air-spaced cantilever beam for energy within the same space envelope. The developed thin air-spaced cantilever (8.37 cm3), has a maximum power output of 2.05 mW (H = 29.29 μJ/cycle). View Full-Text
Keywords: energy harvesting; TPMS; piezoceramic; vibration; harmonic excitation energy; damping; FEA energy harvesting; TPMS; piezoceramic; vibration; harmonic excitation energy; damping; FEA
MDPI and ACS Style

Kubba, A.E.; Jiang, K. Efficiency Enhancement of a Cantilever-Based Vibration Energy Harvester. Sensors 2014, 14, 188-211.

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