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Proceedings Paper

Energy harvesting from mechanical vibrations using piezoelectric cantilever beams
Author(s): Thomas J. Johnson; David Charnegie; William W. Clark; Michael Buric; George Kusic
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Paper Abstract

In this paper, a design methodology for an energy harvesting device will be investigated and results will be presented to validate the design. The energy harvesting device in the study is 31- unimorph piezoelectric cantilever beam which was used to convert small amplitude mechanical vibration from a specific machine application into an electrical energy source that could be used for electronic devices with low power requirements. The primary purpose of the design methodology is to illustrate a method to design a cantilever beam that is optimized for a particular application. The methodology will show how the vibration data (frequency and amplitude) from the machine was analyzed and then how this information was incorporated into the final design of the beam. From the given vibration data a range of frequencies where the energy harvesting device will generate the greatest amount of energy is determined. The device is then designed specifically targeting that frequency range. This approach is presented as part of a more general approach to designing energy harvesters for any application. Also, it will be shown how the thickness and type of materials used for each layer of cantilever beam were chosen, completely independent of the vibration data, without effecting the over all optimization process.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 March 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6169, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Damping and Isolation, 61690D (15 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.659466
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas J. Johnson, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)
David Charnegie, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)
William W. Clark, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)
Michael Buric, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)
George Kusic, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)

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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