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Proceedings Paper

Piezoelectric energy harvesting from multifunctional wing spars for UAVs: Part 1. Coupled modeling and preliminary analysis
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Paper Abstract

This paper discusses the basic design factors for modifying an original wing spar to a multifunctional load-bearing - energy harvester wing spar. A distributed-parameter electromechanical formulation is given for modeling of a multilayer piezoelectric power generator beam for different combinations of the electrical outputs of piezoceramic layers. In addition to the coupled vibration response and voltage response expressions for a multimorph, strength formulations are given in order to estimate the maximum load input that can be sustained by the cantilevered structure without failure for a given safety factor. Embedding piezoceramics into an original wing spar for power generation tends to reduce the maximum load that can be sustained without failure and increase the total mass due to the brittle nature and large mass densities of typical piezoelectric ceramics. Two case studies are presented for demonstration. The theoretical case study discusses modification of a rectangular wing spar to a 3-layer generator wing spar with a certain restriction on mass addition for fixed dimensions. Power generation and strength analyses are provided using the electromechanical model. The experimental case study considers a 9-layer generator beam with aluminum, piezoceramic, Kapton and epoxy layers and investigates its power generation and load-bearing performances experimentally and analytically. This structure constitutes the main body of the multifunctional self-charging structure concept proposed by the authors. The second part of this work (experiments and storage applications) employs this multi-layer generator along with the thin-film battery layers in order to charge the battery layers using the electrical outputs of the piezoceramic layers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 April 2009
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 7288, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2009, 72880C (7 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.815775
Show Author Affiliations
A. Erturk, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
S. R. Anton, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
D. J. Inman, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7288:
Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2009
Mehdi Ahmadian; Mehrdad N. Ghasemi-Nejhad, Editor(s)

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