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Proceedings Paper

Model-based design of piezoelectric energy harvesting systems
Author(s): Jens Twiefel; Björn Richter; Tobias Hemsel; Jörg Wallaschek
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Paper Abstract

In the design process of energy harvesting systems based on piezoelectric elements, achievable energy output is the most interesting factor. To estimate this amount a priori manufacturing of prototypes a mathematical model is very helpful. Within this contribution we will introduce a model based on electro-mechanical circuit theory. Its parameters are identified by measurements and the model is validated by comparison to experimental results. The model is designed to support the development-engineer in the dimensioning of energy harvesting units to specific application demands. Two main challenges in device design are investigated with the mathematical model: influence of the ambient excitation frequency, and influence of the load impedance. Typically, the equivalent model approach delivers models for piezoelectric elements that are driven in resonance by electrical excitation. In the case of energy harvesting the piezoelectric elements are excited mechanically and most often non-resonant. Thus, we first set up a mechanical equivalent model for base excited systems. In first approximation it represents an energy harvesting unit around one resonance frequency. The model is expandable for a wider frequency range using the superpositioning of multiple circuits. From the viewpoint of optimum energy transformation between mechanical and electrical energy it is favorable to drive piezoelectric elements at resonance or anti-resonance. Thus, an energy harvesting system should be tuned to the excitation frequency.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 March 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6169, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Damping and Isolation, 616909 (17 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.658623
Show Author Affiliations
Jens Twiefel, Heinz Nixdorf Institute (Germany)
Björn Richter, Heinz Nixdorf Institute (Germany)
Tobias Hemsel, Heinz Nixdorf Institute (Germany)
Jörg Wallaschek, Heinz Nixdorf Institute (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6169:
Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Damping and Isolation
William W. Clark; Mehdi Ahmadian; Arnold Lumsdaine, Editor(s)

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