Piezoelectric materials can be utilized to harness unused energy to power electronic devices. This article outlines the construction of a piezoelectric energy harvesting floor and evaluates the floor’s energy
collection capabilities. This project utilizes the piezoelectric material lead zirconate titanate (PZT) to collect energy. Tests were conducted to determine the strength of the PZT material and the pressure plate, and COMSOL modeling was used to simulate the power output of the energy harvesting floor before the prototype was fabricated. Various adhesives were analyzed to ensure the selected adhesive had the maximum electrical conductivity. The piezoelectric elements were wired in parallel to increase the low-level AC current; the output of the energy harvester was connected to a circuit that converted the AC power to DC. The energy was stored until the capacitor was filled and then was released at a constant voltage and current allowing a device to be charged. Longevity and durability took precedence over the magnitude of energy harvested from each impulse. Protecting the piezoelectric elements was the focal point of the design. Finding the correct balance between the life span of the project and the generation of energy was paramount.
Blake Stewart and Haifeng Zhang, "Development of a piezoelectric energy harvesting floor (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10601, Smart Materials and Nondestructive Evaluation for Energy Systems IV, 106010E (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 06, 2018; Published: 3 April 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2296629.5763107941001.
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