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Polymers 2018, 10(12), 1341; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10121341

Optimizing the Energy Harvesting Cycle of a Dissipative Dielectric Elastomer Generator for Performance Improvement

1,2
and
1,2,*
1
State Key Laboratory for Strength and Vibration of Mechanical Structures, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
2
School of Mechanical Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 October 2018 / Revised: 30 November 2018 / Accepted: 1 December 2018 / Published: 4 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart and Functional Elastomers, Hydrogels, and Ionogels)
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Abstract

This paper optimizes the energy harvesting cycle of dissipative dielectric elastomer generators (DEGs) to explore possible approaches for improving the energy harvesting performance. By utilizing the developed theoretical framework, the dissipative performance of the DEG with a constant voltage cycle is analyzed, which shows good agreement with the existing experimental data. On this basis, we design a novel energy harvesting cycle and a corresponding energy harvesting circuit in which a transfer capacitor is utilized to store the charge transferred from the DEG. Then, the energy conversion performance of the DEG with the novel energy harvesting cycle is investigated. The results indicate that both the energy density and conversion efficiency are improved by choosing a high voltage during the discharging process and that as the R-C time constant increases, the enhancement effect of the voltage increases and then approaches to the saturation. In addition, there is an optimal transfer capacitor that can maximize energy density or conversion efficiency, and the optimal transfer capacitor increases with the increase in the R-C time constant. These results and methods are expected to guide the optimal design and assessment of DEGs. View Full-Text
Keywords: electroactive polymer; dielectric elastomer; energy harvesting; loss of tension; leakage current electroactive polymer; dielectric elastomer; energy harvesting; loss of tension; leakage current
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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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Fan, P.; Chen, H. Optimizing the Energy Harvesting Cycle of a Dissipative Dielectric Elastomer Generator for Performance Improvement. Polymers 2018, 10, 1341.

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