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Sensors 2015, 15(8), 19633-19648;

Study on Pyroelectric Harvesters with Various Geometry

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, No. 43, Keelung Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei 10607, Taiwan
Department of Mechanical Design Engineering, National Formosa University, No. 64, Wunhua Rd., Huwei Township, Yunlin County 632, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M.N. Passaro
Received: 3 July 2015 / Revised: 4 August 2015 / Accepted: 6 August 2015 / Published: 11 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [4232 KB, uploaded 11 August 2015]   |  


Pyroelectric harvesters convert time-dependent temperature variations into electric current. The appropriate geometry of the pyroelectric cells, coupled with the optimal period of temperature fluctuations, is key to driving the optimal load resistance, which enhances the performance of pyroelectric harvesters. The induced charge increases when the thickness of the pyroelectric cells decreases. Moreover, the induced charge is extremely reduced for the thinner pyroelectric cell when not used for the optimal period. The maximum harvested power is achieved when a 100 μm-thick PZT (Lead zirconate titanate) cell is used to drive the optimal load resistance of about 40 MΩ. Moreover, the harvested power is greatly reduced when the working resistance diverges even slightly from the optimal load resistance. The stored voltage generated from the 75 μm-thick PZT cell is less than that from the 400 μm-thick PZT cell for a period longer than 64 s. Although the thinner PZT cell is advantageous in that it enhances the efficiency of the pyroelectric harvester, the much thinner 75 μm-thick PZT cell and the divergence from the optimal period further diminish the performance of the pyroelectric cell. Therefore, the designers of pyroelectric harvesters need to consider the coupling effect between the geometry of the pyroelectric cells and the optimal period of temperature fluctuations to drive the optimal load resistance. View Full-Text
Keywords: pyroelectric cell; cyclic energy harvesting; geometry; PZT; thermal transients pyroelectric cell; cyclic energy harvesting; geometry; PZT; thermal transients

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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).

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Siao, A.-S.; Chao, C.-K.; Hsiao, C.-C. Study on Pyroelectric Harvesters with Various Geometry. Sensors 2015, 15, 19633-19648.

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