Piezoelectric compliant mechanism energy harvesters under large base excitations

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A piezoelectric compliant mechanism (PCM) energy harvester is designed, modeled, and analyzed that consists of a polyvinylidene diflouoride, PVDF unimorph clamped at its base and attached to a compliant mechanism at its tip. The compliant hinge stiffness is carefully tuned to approach a low frequency first mode with an efficient (nearly quadratic) shape that provides a uniform strain distribution. A nonlinear model of the PCM energy harvester under large base excitation is derived to determine the maximum power that can be generated by the device. Experiments with a fabricated PCM energy harvester prototype show that the compliant mechanism introduces a stiffening effect and a much wider bandwidth than a benchmark proof mass cantilever design. The PCM bridge structure self-limits the displacement and maximum strain at large excitations compared with the proof mass cantilever, improving the device robustness. The PCM outperforms the cantilever in both average power and power-strain sensitivity at high accelerations due to the PCM axial stretching effect and its more uniform strain distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number095023
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 9 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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