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Spie Press Book

Design, Fabrication, and Testing of Piezoelectric Energy Harvesters
Author(s): Ashok K. Batra; Bir B. Bohara; James Raymond Currie
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Book Description

This Spotlight describes the configurations and performance optimization of piezoelectric energy harvesters. It presents in detail all of the relevant parameters to test the performance of piezoelectric and pyroelectric energy harvesters, including the latest measurement techniques. The specifications of state-of-the-art instruments are included. The text serves as a step-by-step instruction manual that will help readers to set up their own laboratory to design, characterize, and analyze the performance of energy harvesters. LabVIEW software is utilized to control instruments and acquire data from a piezoelectric energy harvester test station.

Book Details

Date Published: 8 August 2018
Pages: 62
ISBN: 9781510622180
Volume: SL41

Table of Contents
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1 Introduction

2 Ambient Energy Harvesting Using Piezoelectric and Pyroelectric Effects
2.1 Piezoelectric energy harvesting based on the direct piezoelectric effect
2.2 Piezoelectric effect for energy harvesting

3 Design and Fabrication of Energy Harvesters
3.1 Cantilevered energy harvesters and types of cantilever beams
     3.1.1 Unimorph cantilever
     3.1.2 Bimorph cantilever
     3.1.3 Multimorph cantilever
3.2 Modeling cantilever beams
3.3 Design optimization technique of polyvinylidene fluoride-based piezoelectric energy harvesters
     3.3.1 Configuration of a polyvinylidene fluoride-based bimorphpiezoelectric energy harvester
     3.3.2 Analytical modeling of a bimorph piezoelectric energy harvester
     3.3.3 Optimized configuration of polyvinylidene fluoride-based piezoelectric energy harvesting
3.4 Design of a piezoelectric element
     3.4.1 Fabrication of an energy harvester utilizing a number of technologies

4 Pyroelectric Energy Harvesting Based on the Direct Pyroelectric Effect
4.1 Pyroelectric-based harvesting
4.2 Pyroelectric energy-harvesting figures of merit

5 Hybrid Piezoelectric and Pyroelectric Energy Harvester

6 Characterization of the Piezoelectric Element and Testing of Piezoelectric Energy Harvesters
6.1 Electromechanically parametric characterization of the piezoelectric element
     6.1.1 Dielectric characterization
     6.1.2 Electric poling
     6.1.3 Pyroelectric coefficient measurement
6.2 Measurement techniques for the characterization of a piezoelectric energy harvester
6.3 Parameter identification and piezoelectric coefficients
     6.3.1 Mechanical model and equivalent electrical circuit
     6.3.2 Linear piezoelectric model
     6.3.3 Electromechanical coupling coefficients
     6.3.4 Elastic compliance
     6.3.5 Piezoelectric charge constants
     6.3.6 Piezoelectric voltage constant
     6.3.7 Mechanical quality factor
     6.3.8 Dielectric constants and dielectric spectrum measurements at a low frequency
     6.3.9 Polarization (hysteresis loop) measurements
     6.3.10 Determination of piezoelectric coefficients
     6.3.11 Impedance analysis for the measurement of E33, D33, and 33
     6.3.12 Pyroelectric coefficient measurements
6.4 Parametric identification and determination for a piezoelectric energy harvester
     6.4.1 Natural frequency identification
     6.4.2 Damping factor identification
     6.4.3 Quality factor identification
     6.4.4 Efficiency of energy conversion
6.5 Architecture of a piezoelectric energy-harvesting station
     6.5.1 Instrument specifications and manufacturers
6.6 Procedure for output voltage versus frequency measurements
6.7 Procedure for obtaining output voltage versus resistance measurements
6.8 Example of measurement results


Energy harvesting remains a topic of intense interest, and this Spotlight provides a brief timely overview of the energy-harvesting mechanism employed by piezoelectric and pyroelectric candidate materials. Piezoelectric materials provide solid-state conversion between electrical and mechanical energy, can be manufactured at small scale, and can be integrated into microscale devices or even electronic circuits. Several potential materials and device design/configurations along with basic properties are presented. As vibration energy harvesting matures, it is likely that it will be deployed in more hostile environments. The use of pyroelectric harvesting to generate electrical energy from temperature fluctuations is less well studied. Because pyroelectric materials are also piezoelectric, designs that use thermal fluctuations or gradients to generate mechanical motion or an addition of strain to enhance the secondary pyroelectric coefficients are also of interest. Surprisingly, little work has been attempted to combine piezoelectric- and pyroelectric-based harvesting mechanisms. Keeping in view their importance for potential energy harvesters, it is warranted to describe in detail all of the relevant parameters and the available respective measurement techniques. This Spotlight describes all parameters required for piezoelectric and pyroelectric energy harvesters along with measurement techniques used by the authors. Finally, an ambient energy-harvester testing station, developed to investigate the performance of a cantilever-based energy harvester setup in the authors' Clean Energy Laboratory, is described along with the implementation of LabVIEW software to control instruments and acquire data from a piezoelectric energy-harvesting test station. All of the experiments are performed on an isolated optical bench to avoid interference from mechanical noise that may exist in the surrounding environment. The system provides an integrated approach to characterize key performance indicators for energy-harvesting materials and devices.

This Spotlight provides step-by-step instructions to help readers set up their laboratory in order to characterize and analyze the performance of energy harvesters. The state-of-the-art instruments presented herein intended as examples, and alternative products are commercially available.

Ashok Batra
Bir Bohara
James Currie, Jr.
July 2018

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