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Open AccessArticle

Analysis and Experimental Validation of a Piezoelectric Harvester with Enhanced Frequency Bandwidth

Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel
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Materials 2018, 11(7), 1243; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11071243
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 16 July 2018 / Published: 19 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Materials and Devices)
The use of a single bimorph as a harmonic oscillator aimed at harvesting vibrational energy is not effective due to its inherent narrow frequency bandwidth stemming from the need to adjust the natural frequency of the harvester to the platform excitation frequencies. Therefore, the present research focuses on the development, manufacturing, and testing of an advanced system based on three bimorphs, capable of adjusting their natural frequencies using tip end masses, and interconnected by springs, thus enlarging the system’s bandwidth. An analytical model was developed for three bimorphs interconnected by two springs with three end masses. The model can predict the output generated voltage from each bimorph, and then the total output power is measured on a given outside resistor as a function of the material properties, the geometric dimensions of the vibrating beams, the end-masses, and the spring constants. The analytical model was then compared with data in the literature, yielding a good correlation. To further increase the reliability of the model, a test set-up was designed and manufactured that included three bimorphs with three end-masses connected by two springs. The system was excited using a shaker, and the output voltage was measured for each bimorph for various configurations. Then, the analytical model was tuned based on the test results by introducing two factors, the quality and the stiffness factors, and the predictions of the calibrated analytical model were compared with the experimental results, yielding a good correlation. The calibrated analytical model was then used to perform a comprehensive parametric investigation for two and three bimorphs systems, in which the influences of various parameters—like spring constant, mass value, thickness, and width and length of the bimorph and the substrate beam—on the output generated power were investigated. The main conclusion from this parametric investigation was that by correctly choosing the geometric sizes of the cantilevers, the adequate tip end masses, and the ratio between constants of the springs, the frequency bandwidth is expanded yielding a higher harvested power. Typical harvested power of the present designed system can reach up to 20 mW at the first natural frequency and up to 5 mW for the second natural frequency. View Full-Text
Keywords: piezoelectric harvester; bimorph; natural frequency; generated power; bandwidth; vibrating beam; spring; end mass; series electrical connection; parallel electrical connection piezoelectric harvester; bimorph; natural frequency; generated power; bandwidth; vibrating beam; spring; end mass; series electrical connection; parallel electrical connection
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Abramovich, H.; Har-nes, I. Analysis and Experimental Validation of a Piezoelectric Harvester with Enhanced Frequency Bandwidth. Materials 2018, 11, 1243.

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