Among the main issues with the implementation of Dielectric Elastomer Generators (DEGs) is the need for pre-charging to perform mechanical-to-electrical energy conversion. In cases when energy harvesting has to be performed in an environment with unpredictable characteristics (e.g., wind, waves, human walking), defining the best times for charge injection and energy extraction in a cycle is a non-trivial problem. In this paper, we present a novel Self-Sensing with Peak Detection (SSPD) method to control the charges on the material using capacitive self-sensing techniques, which defines an optimal cycle and requires no knowledge of the mechanical excitation amplitude or frequency. The effectiveness of the approach is proved by means of numerical simulations based on an highly accurate model of the DEG device.
Plinio Zanini, Gianluca Rizzello, Stefan Seelecke, Jonathan Rossiter, and Martin Homer, "Self-sensing for robust automatic charge management of dielectric elastomer generators," Proc. SPIE 10594, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) XX, 105941J (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 08, 2018; Published: 27 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2295355.
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