Performance enhancement of a multiresonant piezoelectric energy harvester for low frequency vibrations

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Izadgoshasb, I, Lim, YY, Padilla, RV, Sedighi, M & Novak, JP 2019, 'Performance enhancement of a multiresonant piezoelectric energy harvester for low frequency vibrations', Energies, vol. 12, no. 14, art. 2770.

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Harvesting electricity from low frequency vibration sources such as human motions using piezoelectric energy harvesters (PEH) is attracting the attention of many researchers in recent years. The energy harvested can potentially power portable electronic devices as well as some medical devices without the need of an external power source. For this purpose, the piezoelectric patch is often mechanically attached to a cantilever beam, such that the resonance frequency is predominantly governed by the cantilever beam. To increase the power generated from vibration sources with varying frequency, a multiresonant PEH (MRPEH) is often used. In this study, an attempt is made to enhance the performance of MRPEH with the use of a cantilever beam of optimised shape, i.e., a cantilever beam with two triangular branches. The performance is further enhanced through optimising the design of the proposed MRPEH to suit the frequency range of the targeted vibration source. A series of parametric studies were first carried out using finite-element analysis to provide in-depth understanding of the effect of each design parameters on the power output at a low frequency vibration. Selected outcomes were then experimentally verified. An optimised design was finally proposed. The results demonstrate that, with the use of a properly designed MRPEH, broadband energy harvesting is achievable and the efficiency of the PEH system can be significantly increased.

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