Special Issue "Smart Materials and Devices for Energy Harvesting"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Daniele Davino
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, University of Sannio, 82100 Benevento, Italy
Interests: electromagnetism; smart materials and devices; magnetostriction; smart composites; energy harvesting; hysteresis modeling
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Energy harvesting is one of the key enabling technologies for the IoT world. It allows to feed wireless sensors and low-power electronics in general, exploiting environmentally available energy.

As a matter of fact, the limiting factor for wearable electronics or wireless sensors is the finite energy stored in the batteries onboard that gives a finite duration to stand-alone performances. Of course, the solution is to change or recharge the batteries as often as necessary, but this strategy is neither practical nor economical nor green-oriented. Indeed, in the case of wireless sensors, located in strategic places in the environment, the replacement or the recharge of the batteries needs qualified technicians reaching the sensors and doing the operation, and this increases the maintenance costs. On the other hand, energy harvesting can convert the energy, right in the place where it is needed. This may also have applications for other applications, such as powering implantable medical/sensing devices for humans and animals.

Several methods allow energy harvesting from the environment: Magnetostrictives and piezoelectrics; Coupling mechanical and/or thermal variables to electro- or magnetic variables; materials and devices exploiting the Seebeck effect for direct conversion of temperature gradients into electricity; new materials for more efficient solar energy conversion; electro-active polymers (EAP) for energy harvesting, to name but a few of the many energy harvesting techniques. Indeed, the field will continue to advance as long as new multifunctional materials are discovered.

It is my pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript for this Special Issue. Full papers, communications, and reviews on the properties, modeling, and characterizations of materials and devices are all welcome.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Daniele Davino
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • energy harvesting
  • smart materials
  • multifunctional materials
  • magnetostriction
  • piezoelectricity
  • Seebeck effect
  • electro-active polymers
  • shape memory alloys
  • magnetic shape memory alloys
  • solar energy

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Harvesting Variable-Speed Wind Energy with a Dynamic Multi-Stable Configuration
Materials 2020, 13(6), 1389; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13061389 - 19 Mar 2020
Abstract
To harvest the energy of variable-speed wind, we proposed a dynamic multi-stable configuration composed of a piezoelectric beam and a rectangular plate. At low wind speeds, the system exhibits bi-stability, whereas, at high wind speeds, the system exhibits a dynamic tri-stability, which is [...] Read more.
To harvest the energy of variable-speed wind, we proposed a dynamic multi-stable configuration composed of a piezoelectric beam and a rectangular plate. At low wind speeds, the system exhibits bi-stability, whereas, at high wind speeds, the system exhibits a dynamic tri-stability, which is beneficial for harvesting variable-speed wind energy. The theoretical analysis was carried out. For validation, the prototype was fabricated, and a piezoelectric material was bonded to the beam. The corresponding experiment was conducted, with the wind speed increasing from 1.5 to 7.5 m/s. The experiment results prove that the proposed harvester could generate a large output over the speed range. The dynamic stability is helpful to maintain snap-through motion for variable-speed wind. In particular, the snap-through motion could reach coherence resonance in a range of wind speed. Thus, the system could keep large output in the environment of variable-speed wind. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Materials and Devices for Energy Harvesting)
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Open AccessArticle
The Radial Piezoelectric Response from Three-Dimensional Electrospun PVDF Micro Wall Structure
Materials 2020, 13(6), 1368; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13061368 - 18 Mar 2020
Abstract
The ability of electrospun polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) fibers to produce piezoelectricity has been demonstrated for a while. Widespread applications of electrospun PVDF as an energy conversion material, however, have not materialized due to the random arrangement of fibers fabricated by traditional electrospinning. In [...] Read more.
The ability of electrospun polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) fibers to produce piezoelectricity has been demonstrated for a while. Widespread applications of electrospun PVDF as an energy conversion material, however, have not materialized due to the random arrangement of fibers fabricated by traditional electrospinning. In this work, a developed 3D electrospinning technique is utilized to fabricate a PVDF micro wall made up of densely stacked fibers in a fiber-by-fiber manner. Results from X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared spectra (FTIR) demonstrate that the crystalline structure of this PVDF wall is predominant in the β phase, revealing the advanced integration capability of structural fabrication and piezoelectric poling with this 3D electrospinning. The piezoelectric response along the radial direction of these PVDF fibers is measured while the toppled micro wall, comprised of 60 fibers, is sandwich assembled with a pair of top/bottom electrodes. The measured electrical output is ca. 0.48 V and 2.7 nA. Moreover, after constant mechanical compression happening over 10,000 times, no obvious reduction in the piezoelectric response has been observed. The combined merits of high-precision 3D fabrication, in situ piezoelectric poling, and high mechanical robust make this novel structure an attractive candidate for applications in piezoelectric energy harvesting and sensing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Materials and Devices for Energy Harvesting)
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Open AccessArticle
A New Prospect in Road Traffic Energy Harvesting Using Lead-Free Piezoceramics
Materials 2019, 12(22), 3725; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12223725 - 11 Nov 2019
Abstract
In this paper, a new prospect using lead-free piezoelectric ceramics is presented in order to determine their behavior in piezoelectric-based road traffic energy harvesting applications. This paper will describe the low-cost and fully programmable novel test bench developed. The test bench includes a [...] Read more.
In this paper, a new prospect using lead-free piezoelectric ceramics is presented in order to determine their behavior in piezoelectric-based road traffic energy harvesting applications. This paper will describe the low-cost and fully programmable novel test bench developed. The test bench includes a traffic simulator and acquires the electrical signals of the piezoelectric materials and the energy harvested when stress is produced by analogous mechanical stimuli to road traffic effects. This new computer-controlled laboratory instrument is able to obtain the active electrical model of the piezoelectric materials and the generalized linear equivalent electrical model of the energy storage and harvesting circuits in an accurate and automatized empirical process. The models are originals and predict the extracted maximum power. The methodology presented allows the use of only two load resistor values to empirically verify the value of the output impedance of the harvester previously determined by simulations. This parameter is unknown a priori and is very relevant for optimizing the energy harvesting process based on maximum power point algorithms. The relative error achieved between the theoretical analysis by applying the models and the practical tests with real harvesting systems is under 3%. The environmental concerns are explored, highlighting the main differences between lead-containing (lead zirconate titanate, PZT) and lead-free commercial piezoelectric ceramics in road traffic energy harvesting applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Materials and Devices for Energy Harvesting)
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Simulation of a Fe-Ga Energy Harvester Prototype Through a Preisach-Type Hysteresis Model
Materials 2019, 12(20), 3384; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12203384 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper presents the modeling of an Fe–Ga energy harvester prototype, within a large range of values of operating parameters (mechanical preload, amplitude and frequency of dynamic load, electric load resistance). The simulations, based on a hysteretic Preisach-type model, employ a voltage-driven finite [...] Read more.
This paper presents the modeling of an Fe–Ga energy harvester prototype, within a large range of values of operating parameters (mechanical preload, amplitude and frequency of dynamic load, electric load resistance). The simulations, based on a hysteretic Preisach-type model, employ a voltage-driven finite element formulation using the fixed-point technique, to handle the material nonlinearities. Due to the magneto–mechanical characteristics of Fe–Ga, a preliminary tuning must be performed for each preload to individualize the fixed point constant, to ensure a good convergence of the method. This paper demonstrates how this approach leads to good results for the Fe–Ga prototype. The relative discrepancies between experimental and computational values of the output power remain lower than 5% in the entire range of operating parameters considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Materials and Devices for Energy Harvesting)
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling and Characterization of a Kinetic Energy Harvesting Device Based on Galfenol
Materials 2019, 12(19), 3199; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12193199 - 29 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The proposal of Energy Harvesting (EH) techniques and devices has experienced a significant growth over the last years, because of the spread of low power electronic devices. Small ambient energy quantities can be recovered through EH and exploited to power Wireless Sensor Networks [...] Read more.
The proposal of Energy Harvesting (EH) techniques and devices has experienced a significant growth over the last years, because of the spread of low power electronic devices. Small ambient energy quantities can be recovered through EH and exploited to power Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) used, for example, for the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) of bridges or viaducts. For this purpose, research on EH devices based on magnetostrictive materials has significantly grown in the last years. However, these devices comprise different parts, such as a mechanical system, magnetic circuit and electrical connections, which are coupled together. Then, a method able to reproduce the performance may be a handy tool. This paper presents a nonlinear equivalent circuit of a harvester, based on multiple rods of Galfenol, which can be solved with standard circuit simulator. The circuital parameters are identified with measurements both on one rod and on the whole device. The validation of the circuit and the analysis of the power conversion performance of the device have been conducted with different working conditions (force profile, typology of permanent magnets, resistive electrical load). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Materials and Devices for Energy Harvesting)
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Open AccessCommunication
Footstep Energy Harvesting with the Magnetostrictive Fiber Integrated Shoes
Materials 2019, 12(13), 2055; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12132055 - 26 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Wearable energy harvesting devices attract attention as the devices provide electrical power without inhibiting user mobility and independence. While the piezoelectric materials integrated shoes have been considered as wearable energy harvesting devices for a long time, they can lose their energy harvesting performance [...] Read more.
Wearable energy harvesting devices attract attention as the devices provide electrical power without inhibiting user mobility and independence. While the piezoelectric materials integrated shoes have been considered as wearable energy harvesting devices for a long time, they can lose their energy harvesting performance after being used several times due to their brittleness. In this study, we focused on Fe–Co magnetostrictive materials and fabricated Fe–Co magnetostrictive fiber integrated shoes. We revealed that Fe–Co magnetostrictive fiber integrated shoes are capable of generating 1.2 µJ from 1000 steps of usual walking by the Villari (inverse magnetostrictive) effect. It seems that the output energy is dependent on user habit on ambulation, not on their weight. From both a mechanical and functional point of view, Fe–Co magnetostrictive fiber integrated shoes demonstrated stable energy harvesting performance after being used many times. It is likely that Fe–Co magnetostrictive fiber integrated shoes are available as sustainable and wearable energy harvesting devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Materials and Devices for Energy Harvesting)
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