2 April 2015 On the use of nonlinear solitary waves for energy harvesting
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In the last decade there has been an increasing attention on the use of highly- and weakly- nonlinear solitary waves in engineering and physics. These waves can form and travel in nonlinear systems such as one-dimensional chains of spherical particles. One engineering application of solitary waves is the fabrication of acoustic lenses, which are employed in a variety of fields ranging from biomedical imaging and surgery to defense systems and damage detection. In this paper we propose to couple an acoustic lens to a wafer-type lead zirconate titanate transducer (PZT) to harvest energy from the vibration of an object tapping the lens. The lens is composed of a circle array made of chains of particles in contact with a polycarbonate material where the nonlinear waves coalesce into linear waves. The PZT located at the designed focal point converts the mechanical energy carried by the stress wave into electricity to power a load resistor. The performance of the designed harvester is compared to a conventional cantilever beam, and the experimental results show that the power generated with the nonlinear lens has the same order of magnitude of the beam.
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Kaiyuan Li, Kaiyuan Li, Piervincenzo Rizzo, Piervincenzo Rizzo, "On the use of nonlinear solitary waves for energy harvesting", Proc. SPIE 9431, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2015, 943103 (2 April 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2083872; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2083872

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