Influence of effective electrode coverage on the energy harvesting performance of piezoelectric cantilevers

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number114758
Journal / PublicationEnergy Conversion and Management
Online published28 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021


Cantilevers are widely used for piezoelectric vibration energy harvesters (PEHs), thanks to the low resonance frequency and large mechanical strain under weak excitations. Electrode coverage optimization is essential for maximizing output power. In this study, bimorph cantilevers with segmented electrodes are developed to investigate the correlation between effective electrode coverage (EEC) and the harvesting behavior of piezoelectric cantilevers. A nonlinear electromechanical model is established using Hamilton's principle, numerically solved with the method of harmonic balance, and further validated by experimental measurements. Equivalent linear stiffness and equivalent mechanical damping ratio are firstly introduced for evaluating the equivalent effective electromechanical coupling coefficients and identifying strong and weak coupling harvesters. Both harvesters fabricated with and without proof mass behave mainly as strongly coupled systems and can obtain the maximum possible power at a very low EEC. Variation of EEC in higher range acquires almost constant maximum power on dramatically changing resistance. A comprehensive EEC design principle for acquiring the maximum output power is obtained for cantilevered PEHs. An optimal EEC obtaining the maximum effective electromechanical coupling coefficient is needed for acquiring the unique maximum power pick for weakly coupled harvesters, whereas a wide range of EEC can be used to maximize output power for harvesters those mainly behave as strongly coupled systems.

Research Area(s)

  • Cantilever, Electrode coverage, Energy harvester, Piezoelectric