Damping as a result of piezoelectric energy harvesting

G. A. Lesieutre, G. K. Ottman, H. F. Hofmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

309 Scopus citations


Systems that harvest or scavenge energy from their environments are of considerable interest for use in remote power supplies. A class of such systems exploits the motion or deformation associated with vibration, converting the mechanical energy to electrical, and storing it for later use; some of these systems use piezoelectric materials for the direct conversion of strain energy to electrical energy. The removal of mechanical energy from a vibrating structure necessarily results in damping. This research addresses the damping associated with a piezoelectric energy harvesting system that consists of a full-bridge rectifier, a filter capacitor, a switching DC-DC step-down converter, and a battery. Under conditions of harmonic forcing, the effective modal loss factor depends on: (1) the electromechanical coupling coefficient of the piezoelectric system; and (2) the ratio of the rectifier output voltage during operation to its maximum open-circuit value. When the DC-DC converter is maximizing power flow to the battery, this voltage ratio is very nearly 1/2, and the loss factor depends only on the coupling coefficient. Experiments on a base-driven piezoelectric cantilever, having a system coupling coefficient of 26%, yielded an effective loss factor for the fundamental vibration mode of 2.2%, in excellent agreement with theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)991-1001
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sound and Vibration
Issue number3-5
StatePublished - Jan 22 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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