10 April 2013 A multiaxial piezoelectric energy harvester
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An important limitation in the classical energy harvesters based on cantilever beam structure is its monodirectional sensibility. The external excitation must generate an orthogonal acceleration from the beam plane to induced flexural deformation. If the direction of the excitation deviates from this privileged direction, the harvester output power is drastically reduced. This point is obviously very restrictive in the case of an arbitrary excitation direction induced for example by human body movements or vehicles vibrations. In order to overcome this issue of the conventional resonant cantilever configuration with seismic mass, a multidirectional harvester is introduced here by the authors. The multidirectional ability relies on the exploitation of 3 degenerate structural vibration modes where each of them is induced by the corresponding component of the acceleration vector. This specific structure has been already used for 3 axis accelerometers but the approach is here totally revisited because the final functional goal is different. This paper presents the principle and the design considerations of such multidirectional piezoelectric energy harvester. A finite element model has been used for the harvester optimisation. It has been shown that the seismic mass is a relevant parameter for the modes tuning because the resonant frequency of the 1st exploited flexural mode directly depends on the mass whereas the resonance frequency of the 2nd flexural mode depends on its moment of inertia. A simplified centimetric prototype limited to a two orthogonal direction sensibility has permitted to valid the theoretical approach.
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H. D. Mousselmal, H. D. Mousselmal, P. J. Cottinet, P. J. Cottinet, L. Quiquerez, L. Quiquerez, B. Remaki, B. Remaki, L. Petit, L. Petit, "A multiaxial piezoelectric energy harvester", Proc. SPIE 8688, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2013, 86880F (10 April 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2009621; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2009621

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