Next Article in Journal
A Novel Robot Visual Homing Method Based on SIFT Features
Next Article in Special Issue
SITRUS: Semantic Infrastructure for Wireless Sensor Networks
Previous Article in Journal
Fabrication of Capacitive Acoustic Resonators Combining 3D Printing and 2D Inkjet Printing Techniques
Previous Article in Special Issue
Energy Efficient Medium Access Control Protocol for Clustered Wireless Sensor Networks with Adaptive Cross-Layer Scheduling
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting in Internal Fluid Flow

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Davide Brunelli
Sensors 2015, 15(10), 26039-26062;
Received: 31 August 2015 / Revised: 2 October 2015 / Accepted: 8 October 2015 / Published: 14 October 2015
PDF [8028 KB, uploaded 14 October 2015]


We consider piezoelectric flow energy harvesting in an internal flow environment with the ultimate goal powering systems such as sensors in deep oil well applications. Fluid motion is coupled to structural vibration via a cantilever beam placed in a converging-diverging flow channel. Two designs were considered for the electromechanical coupling: first; the cantilever itself is a piezoelectric bimorph; second; the cantilever is mounted on a pair of flextensional actuators. We experimentally investigated varying the geometry of the flow passage and the flow rate. Experimental results revealed that the power generated from both designs was similar; producing as much as 20 mW at a flow rate of 20 L/min. The bimorph designs were prone to failure at the extremes of flow rates tested. Finite element analysis (FEA) showed fatigue failure was imminent due to stress concentrations near the bimorph’s clamped region; and that robustness could be improved with a stepped-joint mounting design. A similar FEA model showed the flextensional-based harvester had a resonant frequency of around 375 Hz and an electromechanical coupling of 0.23 between the cantilever and flextensional actuators in a vacuum. These values; along with the power levels demonstrated; are significant steps toward building a system design that can eventually deliver power in the Watts range to devices down within a well. View Full-Text
Keywords: piezoelectric; flow energy harvesting; fluid-structure interaction; transducer piezoelectric; flow energy harvesting; fluid-structure interaction; transducer

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Lee, H.J.; Sherrit, S.; Tosi, L.P.; Walkemeyer, P.; Colonius, T. Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting in Internal Fluid Flow. Sensors 2015, 15, 26039-26062.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sensors EISSN 1424-8220 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top