A long-standing encumbrance in the design of low-frequency energy harvesters has been the need of substantial beam length and/or large tip mass values to reach the low resonance frequencies where significant energy can be harvested from the ambient vibration sources. This need of large length and tip mass may result in a device that is too large to be practical. The zigzag (meandering) beam structure has emerged as a solution to this problem. In this letter, we provide comparative analysis between the classical one-dimensional cantilever bimorph and the two-dimensional zigzag unimorph piezoelectric energy harvesters. The results demonstrate that depending upon the excitation frequency, the zigzag harvester is significantly better in terms of magnitude of natural frequency, harvested power, and power density, compared to the cantilever configuration. The dimensions were chosen for each design such that the zigzag structure would have 25.4×25.4 mm2 area, and the cantilever would have the same surface area. The zigzag prototype of 25.4×25.4 mm2 area was capable of generating 65 μW/cm3 at 32 Hz when subjected to 0.1 G base acceleration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering