Woodpecker-mimic two-layer band energy harvester with a piezoelectric array for powering wrist-worn wearables

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

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Original languageEnglish
Article number106385
Number of pages10
Journal / PublicationNano Energy
Issue numberPt. A
Online published30 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


Wrist-worn smart devices such as smartwatches and wristbands are rapidly penetrating our daily life for health, security and fashion purposes. However, the battery-powered wearables have a limited lifetime and need to be frequently recharged, which degrades user experience and further poses environmental problems. Inspired by the structure of the woodpecker’s head, this paper reports a bionic two-layer band piezoelectric energy harvester for self-powered smartwatches and wristbands. An inner band and an outer band of the harvester mimic two branches of the hyoid bone of the woodpecker. The energy harvesting unit employs a piezoelectric array structure. A finite element analysis is conducted to identify the optimal positions of piezoelectric patches in the array and an improved rectifier circuit is developed to manage the multiple AC inputs. We design two operation modes, i.e., movement mode and impact mode, to accommodate energy harvesters in different human activities. A maximum power output of 15.41 mW is achieved in experiments when tapping the prototype, corresponding to an equivalent power density of 1049.01 μW/cm3, around five times higher than previous wrist-worn harvesters. The design demonstrates its capability of continuously powering a watch and a screen during a normal walking process. The concept of shifting from the watch body to watch bands provides the design of energy harvesters a larger space and higher user-friendliness, which, fused with the piezoelectric array method, shows the potential to merge the gap of the power generation of energy harvesters and the power consumption of wrist wearables.

Research Area(s)

  • Energy Harvesting, Piezoelectric, Wearable Devices, Battery-less, Energy Harvester Array, Bionic