Vibration energy harvesting using piezoelectric material is a promising solution for powering small electric devices, which has attracted great research interest in recent years. Numerous efforts have been done by researchers to improve the efficiency of vibration energy harvesters and to broaden their bandwidths. In most reported literature, harvesters are designed to harvest energy from vibration source with a specific excitation direction. However, a practical environmental vibration source may include multiple components from different directions. Thus, it is an important concern to design a vibration energy harvester to be adaptive to multiple excitation directions. In this article, a novel piezoelectric energy harvester with frame configuration is proposed to address this issue. It can work either in its vertical vibration mode or horizontal vibration mode. Therefore, the harvester can capture vibration energy from arbitrary directions in a twodimensional plane. Experimental studies are carried out to prove the feasibility for multiple-direction energy harvesting using such harvester. The development of this two-dimensional energy harvester indicates its promising potential in practical vibration scenarios.
Aeroelastic instabilities have been frequently exploited for energy harvesting purpose to power standalone electronic systems, such as wireless sensors. Meanwhile, various energy harvesting interface circuits, such as synchronized charge extraction (SCE) and synchronized switching harvesting on inductor (SSHI), have been widely pursued in the literature for efficiency enhancement of energy harvesting from existing base vibrations. These interfaces, however, have not been applied for aeroelastic energy harvesting. This paper investigates the feasibility of the SCE interface in galloping-based piezoelectric energy harvesting, with a focus on its benefit for performance improvement and influence on the galloping dynamics in different electromechanical coupling regimes. A galloping-based piezoelectric energy harvester (GPEH) is prototyped with an aluminum cantilever bonded with a piezoelectric sheet. Wind tunnel test is conducted with a simple electrical interface composed of a resistive load. Circuit simulation is performed with equivalent circuit representation of the GPEH system and confirmed by experimental results. Consequently, a self-powered SCE interface is implemented with the capability of self peak-detecting and switching. Circuit simulation for various electromechanical coupling cases shows that the harvested power with SCE interface for GPEH is independent of the electrical load, similar to that for a vibration-based piezoelectric energy harvester (VPEH). The SCE interface outperforms the standard interface if the electromechanical coupling is weak, and requires much less piezoelectric material to achieve the maximum power output. Moreover, influence of electromechanical coupling on the dynamics of GPEH with SCE is found sensitive to the wind speed.
Vibration energy harvesting using piezoelectric material has received great research interest in the recent years. To enhance the performance of piezoelectric energy harvesters, one important concern is to increase their operating bandwidth. Various techniques have been proposed for broadband energy harvesting, such as the resonance tuning approach, the frequency up-conversion technique, the multi-modal harvesting and the nonlinear technique. Usually, a nonlinear piezoelectric energy harvester can be easily developed by introducing a magnetic field. Either mono-stable or bi-stable response can be achieved using different magnetic configurations. However, most of the research work for nonlinear piezoelectric energy harvesting has focused on the SDOF cantilever beam. A recently reported linear 2-DOF harvester can achieve two close resonant frequencies with significant power outputs. However, for this linear configuration, although a broader bandwidth can be achieved, there exists a deep valley in-between the two response peaks. The presence of the valley will greatly deteriorate the performance of the energy harvester. To overcome this limitation, a nonlinear 2-DOF piezoelectric energy harvester is proposed in this article. This nonlinear harvester is developed from its linear counterpart by incorporating a magnetic field using a pair of magnets. Experimental parametric study is carried out to investigate the behavior of such harvester. With different configurations, both mono-stable and bi-stable behaviors are observed and studied. An optimal configuration of the nonlinear harvester is thus obtained, which can achieve significantly wider bandwidth than the linear 2-DOF harvester and at the same time overcome its limitation.
Vibration energy harvesters have been usually designed as single-degree-of-freedom (1DOF) systems. The fact that such
harvesters are only efficient near sole resonance limits their applicability in frequency-variant and random vibration
scenarios. In this paper, a novel multiple-DOF piezoelectric energy harvester model (PEHM) is developed, which
comprises a primary mass and n parasitic masses. The parasitic masses are independent of each other but attached to the
primary mass. The piezoelectric element is placed between the primary mass and the base for energy generation. First, a
2DOF model is analyzed and characterized. Through parametric analysis, it is found that with a slight increase of the
overall weight to the original 1DOF harvester (without parasitic masses), two close and effective peaks or one effective
peak with significantly enhanced magnitude can be achieved in the power response. Subsequently, the 2DOF model is
generalized to an n-DOF model and its analytical solution is derived. This solution provides a convenient tool for
parametric study and design of a multiple-DOF piezoelectric energy harvester (PEH). Useful multimodal energy
harvesting can be achieved with a slight increase of the overall weight. Finally, a prototype of the proposed multiple-
DOF model is devised for proof of concept.