To enhance the energy conversion performance of piezoelectric vibration energy harvesters, such structures have been recently designed to leverage bandwidth-enhancing nonlinear dynamics. While key findings have been made, the majority of researchers have evaluated the opportunities when the harvesters are connected to pure resistive loads (AC interface). The alternating voltage generated by such energy harvesting systems cannot be directly utilized to power conventional electronics. Rectifying circuits are required to interface the device and electronic load but few efforts have considered how a standard rectifying DC interface circuit (DC interface) connected to a nonlinear piezoelectric energy harvester influences the system performance. The aim of this research is to begin exploring this critical feature of the nonlinear energy harvesting system. A nonlinear, monostable piezoelectric energy harvester (MPEH) is fabricated and evaluated to determine the generated power and useful operating bandwidth when connected to a DC interface. The nonlinearity is introduced into the harvester design by tuneable magnetic force. An equivalent circuit model of the MPEH is implemented with a user-defined nonlinear behavioral voltage source representative of the magnetic interaction. The model is validated comparing the open circuit voltage from circuit simulation and experiment. The practical energy harvesting capability of the MPEH connected to the AC and DC interface circuits are then investigated and compared, focusing on the influence of the varying load on the nonlinear dynamics and subsequent bandwidth and harvested power.
Lihua Tang, Yue Han, James Hand, and Ryan L. Harne, "Exploring the roles of standard rectifying circuits on the performance of a nonlinear piezoelectric energy harvester," Proc. SPIE 9799, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2016, 97990J (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 22, 2016; Published: 15 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2218755.
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