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Proceedings Paper

High temperature energy harvesters utilizing ALN/3C-SiC composite diaphragms
Author(s): Yun-Ju Lai; Wei-Chang Li; Valery V. Felmetsger; Debbie G. Senesky; Albert P. Pisano
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Paper Abstract

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) energy harvesting devices aiming at powering wireless sensor systems for structural health monitoring in harsh environments are presented. For harsh environment wireless sensor systems, sensor modules are required to operate at elevated temperatures (> 250°C) with capabilities to resist harsh chemical conditions, thereby the use of battery-based power sources becomes challenging and not economically efficient if considering the required maintenance efforts. To address this issue, energy harvesting technology is proposed to replace batteries and provide a sustainable power source for the sensor systems towards autonomous harsh environment wireless sensor networks. In particular, this work demonstrates a micromachined aluminum nitride/cubic silicon carbide (AlN/3C–SiC) composite diaphragm energy harvester, which enables high temperature energy harvesting from ambient pulsed pressure sources. The fabricated device yields an output power density of 87 μW/cm2 under 1.48-psi pressure pulses at 1 kHz while connected to a 14.6-kΩ load resistor. The effects of pulse profile on output voltage have been studied, showing that the output voltage can be maximized by optimizing the diaphragm resonance frequency based on specific pulse characteristics. In addition, temperature dependence of the diaphragm resonance frequency over the range of 20°C to 600°C has been investigated and the device operation at temperatures as high as 600°C has been verified.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 June 2014
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 9113, Sensors for Extreme Harsh Environments, 91130C (5 June 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2050725
Show Author Affiliations
Yun-Ju Lai, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Wei-Chang Li, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Valery V. Felmetsger, OEM Group, Inc. (United States)
Debbie G. Senesky, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Albert P. Pisano, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9113:
Sensors for Extreme Harsh Environments
Debbie G. Senesky; Sachin Dekate, Editor(s)

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