Theoretical and experimental investigation of a nonlinear compressive-mode energy harvester with high power output under weak excitations

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Original languageEnglish
Article number025028
Journal / PublicationSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number2
Online published14 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


Harvesting ambient vibration energy is a promising method for realizing self-powered autonomous operation for low-power electronic devices. Most energy harvesters developed to date employ bending-beam configurations and work around the resonant points. There are two critical problems that have hindered the widespread adoption of energy harvesters: insufficient power output and narrow working bandwidth. To overcome these problems, we proposed a novel energy harvester, called a high-efficiency compressive-mode piezoelectric energy harvester (HC-PEH). The HC-PEH delicately synthesizes the merits of the force amplification effect of the flexural motion and the dynamic properties of elastic beams, and thus is capable of high power output with wide working bandwidth. In this paper, theoretical and experimental studies were performed on the HC-PEH. Taking nonlinear stiffness, nonlinear damping, and nonlinear piezoelectricity into account, we developed an analytical model that provides comprehensive insight into the nonlinear mechanical and electrical behaviors of the system. The analytical results closely render the experimental data and demonstrate great performance enhancement. In the experiment, a maximum power output of 54.7 mW is generated at 26 Hz under an acceleration of 4.9 m s-2, which is over one order of magnitude higher than other state-of-the-art systems.

Research Area(s)

  • energy harvesting, flextensional transducer, geometric nonlinearity, high power output, piezoelectric