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9 April 2013 Validated numerical simulation model of a dielectric elastomer generator
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Dielectric elastomer generators (DEG) produce electrical energy by converting mechanical into electrical energy. Efficient operation requires homogeneous deformation of each single layer. However, by different internal and external influences like supports or the shape of a DEG the deformation will be inhomogeneous and hence negatively affect the amount of the generated electrical energy. Optimization of the deformation behavior leads to improved efficiency of the DEG and consequently to higher energy gain. In this work a numerical simulation model of a multilayer dielectric elastomer generator is developed using the FEM software ANSYS. The analyzed multilayer DEG consists of 49 active dielectric layers with layer thicknesses of 50 μm. The elastomer is silicone (PDMS) while the compliant electrodes are made of graphite powder. In the simulation the real material parameters of the PDMS and the graphite electrodes need to be included. Therefore, the mechanical and electrical material parameters of the PDMS are determined by experimental investigations of test samples while the electrode parameters are determined by numerical simulations of test samples. The numerical simulation of the DEG is carried out as coupled electro-mechanical simulation for the constant voltage energy harvesting cycle. Finally, the derived numerical simulation model is validated by comparison with analytical calculations and further simulated DEG configurations. The comparison of the determined results show good accordance with regard to the deformation of the DEG. Based on the validated model it is now possible to optimize the DEG layout for improved deformation behavior with further simulations.
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Florentine Foerster, Holger Moessinger, and Helmut F. Schlaak "Validated numerical simulation model of a dielectric elastomer generator", Proc. SPIE 8687, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2013, 868712 (9 April 2013);

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