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Proceedings Paper

Nonlinear modeling, strength-based design, and testing of flexible piezoelectric energy harvesters under large dynamic loads for rotorcraft applications
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Paper Abstract

There has been growing interest in enabling wireless health and usage monitoring for rotorcraft applications, such as helicopter rotor systems. Large dynamic loads and acceleration fluctuations available in these environments make the implementation of vibration-based piezoelectric energy harvesters a very promising choice. However, such extreme loads transmitted to the harvester can also be detrimental to piezoelectric laminates and overall system reliability. Particularly flexible resonant cantilever configurations tuned to match the dominant excitation frequency can be subject to very large deformations and failure of brittle piezoelectric laminates due to excessive bending stresses at the root of the harvester. Design of resonant piezoelectric energy harvesters for use in these environments require nonlinear electroelastic dynamic modeling and strength-based analysis to maximize the power output while ensuring that the harvester is still functional. This paper presents a mathematical framework to design and analyze the dynamics of nonlinear flexible piezoelectric energy harvesters under large base acceleration levels. A strength-based limit is imposed to design the piezoelectric energy harvester with a proof mass while accounting for material, geometric, and dissipative nonlinearities, with a focus on two demonstrative case studies having the same linear fundamental resonance frequency but different overhang length and proof mass values. Experiments are conducted at different excitation levels for validation of the nonlinear design approach proposed in this work. The case studies in this work reveal that harvesters exhibiting similar behavior and power generation performance at low excitation levels (e.g. less than 0.1g) can have totally different strength-imposed performance limitations under high excitations (e.g. above 1g). Nonlinear modeling and strength-based design is necessary for such excitation levels especially when using resonant cantilevers with no geometric constraint.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 April 2014
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 9057, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2014, 90571W (1 April 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2045167
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen Leadenham, Georgia Institute of Technology (United States)
Alper Erturk, Georgia Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9057:
Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2014
Wei-Hsin Liao, Editor(s)

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