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Research Papers

Efficient Energy Harvesting Using Piezoelectric Compliant Mechanisms: Theory and Experiment

[+] Author and Article Information
Xiaokun Ma

Mechatronics Research Laboratory,
Department of Mechanical and
Nuclear Engineering,
The Pennsylvania State University,
University Park, PA 16802
e-mail: xma-me@psu.edu

Andrew Wilson

Mechatronics Research Laboratory,
Department of Mechanical and
Nuclear Engineering,
The Pennsylvania State University,
University Park, PA 16802
e-mail: ajw5360@psu.edu

Christopher D. Rahn

Professor
Mechatronics Research Laboratory,
Department of Mechanical and
Nuclear Engineering,
The Pennsylvania State University,
University Park, PA 16802
e-mail: cdrahn@psu.edu

Susan Trolier-McKinstry

Professor
Materials Research Institute,
Department of Materials
Science and Engineering,
The Pennsylvania State University,
University Park, PA 16802
e-mail: stmckinstry@psu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Technical Committee on Vibration and Sound of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF VIBRATION AND ACOUSTICS. Manuscript received April 29, 2015; final manuscript received November 24, 2015; published online January 20, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Mohammed Daqaq.

J. Vib. Acoust 138(2), 021005 (Jan 20, 2016) (9 pages) Paper No: VIB-15-1145; doi: 10.1115/1.4032178 History: Received April 29, 2015; Revised November 24, 2015

Piezoelectric energy harvesters typically perform poorly in the low frequency, low amplitude, and intermittent excitation environment of human movement. In this paper, a piezoelectric compliant mechanism (PCM) energy harvester is designed that consists of a polyvinylidene diflouoride (PVDF) unimorph clamped at the base and attached to a compliant mechanism at the tip. The compliant mechanism has two flexures that amplify the tip displacement to produce large motion of a proof mass and a low frequency first mode with an efficient (nearly quadratic) shape. The compliant mechanism is fabricated as a separate, relatively rigid frame with flexure hinges, simplifying the fabrication process, and surrounding and protecting the piezoelectric unimorph. The bridge structure of the PCM also self-limits the response to large amplitude impacts, improving the device robustness. Experiments show that the compliant hinge stiffness can be carefully tuned to approach the theoretical high power output and mode shape efficiency.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Proof mass cantilever (a) design and (b) model

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Fig. 2

Photograph of a proof mass cantilever prototype

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Fig. 3

PCM (a) design and (b) model

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Fig. 4

Photograph of a PCM prototype

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Fig. 5

Experimental setup: (a) laser vibrometer and shaker and (b) data acquisition system

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Fig. 6

Proof mass cantilever frequency responses from theory (blue dashed line) and experiment (blue solid line): (a) tip displacement, (b) voltage, (c) enlarged view of voltage, (d) power, and (e) enlarged view of power (see online figure for color)

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Fig. 7

PCM frequency responses from theory (black dashed line) and experiment (optimal stiffness: black solid line, lower stiffness: red solid line, and higher stiffness: green solid line): (a) tip displacement, (b) voltage, (c) enlarged view of voltage, (d) power, and (e) enlarged view of power (see online figure for color)

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Fig. 8

(a) Normalized mode shapes and (b) maximum strain distributions for the proof mass cantilever theory (blue dashed line) and experiment (blue solid line with circles), PCM theory (black dashed line) and experiment (optimal stiffness: black solid line with squares, lower stiffness: red solid line with downward-pointing triangles, and higher stiffness: green solid line with upward-pointing triangles; see online figure for color)

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Fig. 9

Experimental (a) maximum voltage and (b) maximum power at the strain limit for the proof mass cantilever (blue solid line) and PCM (black solid line; see online figure for color)

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