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30 December 2008 Optimizing efficiency of energy harvesting by macro-fiber composites
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The decreasing energy consumption of today's portable electronics has invoked the possibility of energy harvesting from ambient environment for self power supply. One common and simple method for energy harvesting is to utilize the direct piezoelectric effect. Compared to traditional piezoelectric materials such as lead zirconate titanate (PZT), macro-fiber composites (MFC) are featured in their flexibility of large deformation. However, the energy generated by MFC is still far smaller than that required by electronics at present. In this paper, an energy harvesting system prototype with MFC patches bonded to a cantilever beam is fabricated and tested. A finite element analysis (FEA) model is established to estimate the output voltage of MFC harvester. The energy accumulation procedure in the capacitor is simulated by using the electronic design automation (EDA) software. The simulation results are validated by the experimental ones. Subsequently, the electrical properties of MFC as well as the geometry configurations of the cantilever beam and MFC are parametrically studied by combining the FEA and EDA simulations for optimal energy harvesting efficiency.
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Lihua Tang, Yaowen Yang, and Hongyun Li "Optimizing efficiency of energy harvesting by macro-fiber composites", Proc. SPIE 7268, Smart Structures, Devices, and Systems IV, 726808 (30 December 2008);

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