9 April 2013 Optimized energy harvesting materials and generator design
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Abstract
Electroactive polymers are soft capacitors made of thin elastic and electrically insulating films coated with compliant electrodes offering a large amount of deformation. They can either be used as actuators by applying an electric charge or they can be used as energy converters based on the electrostatic principle. These unique properties enable the industrial development of highly efficient and environmentally sustainable energy converters, which opens up the possibility to further exploit large renewable and inexhaustible energy sources like wind and water that are widely unused otherwise. Compared to other electroactive polymer materials, polyurethanes, whose formulations have been systematically modified and optimized for energy harvesting applications, have certain advantages over silicones and acrylates. The inherently higher dipole content results in a significantly increased permittivity and the dielectric breakdown strength is higher, too, whereby the overall specific energy, a measure for the energy gain, is better by at least factor ten, i.e. more than ten times the energy can be gained out of the same amount of material. In order to reduce conduction losses on the electrode during charging and discharging, a highly conductive bidirectional stretchable electrode has been developed. Other important material parameters like stiffness and bulk resistivity have been optimized to fit the requirements. To realize high power energy harvesting systems, substantial amounts of electroactive polymer material are necessary as well as a smart mechanical and electrical design of the generator. In here we report on different measures to evaluate and improve electroactive polymer materials for energy harvesting by e.g. reducing the defect occurrence and improving the electrode behavior.
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Christian Graf, Christian Graf, Julia Hitzbleck, Julia Hitzbleck, Torsten Feller, Torsten Feller, Karin Clauberg, Karin Clauberg, Joachim Wagner, Joachim Wagner, Jens Krause, Jens Krause, Jürgen Maas, Jürgen Maas, } "Optimized energy harvesting materials and generator design", Proc. SPIE 8687, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2013, 86870N (9 April 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2010011; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2010011
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