Structural effects and energy conversion efficiency of power harvesting

Yabin Liao, Henry A. Sodano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


The concept of power harvesting works towards developing self-powered devices that do not require replaceable power supplies. One important parameter defining the performance of a piezoelectric power harvesting system is the efficiency of the system. However, an accepted definition of energy harvesting efficiency does not currently exist. This article will develop a new definition for the efficiency of an energy harvesting system, which rather than being defined through energy conservation as the ratio of the energy fed into the system to maintain the steady state to the output power, we consider the ratio of the strain energy over each cycle to the power output. This new definition is analogous to the material loss factor. Simulations will be performed to demonstrate the validity of the efficiency and will show that the maximum efficiency occurs at the matched impedance; however, for materials with high electromechanical coupling, the maximum power is generated at the near open- and closed-circuit resonances with a lower efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-514
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering


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