Modeling and performance evaluation of a piezoelectric energy harvester with segmented electrodes

  • Wang, Hongyan (State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology) ;
  • Tang, Lihua (School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University) ;
  • Shan, Xiaobiao (State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology) ;
  • Xie, Tao (State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology) ;
  • Yang, Yaowen (School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University)
  • Received : 2012.12.13
  • Accepted : 2014.02.11
  • Published : 2014.08.25


Conventional cantilevered piezoelectric energy harvesters (PEHs) are usually fabricated with continuous electrode configuration (CEC), which suffers from the electrical cancellation at higher vibration modes. Though previous research pointed out that the segmented electrode configuration (SEC) can address this issue, a comprehensive evaluation of the PEH with SEC has yet been reported. With the consideration of delivering power to a common load, the AC outputs from all segmented electrode pairs should be rectified to DC outputs separately. In such case, theoretical formulation for power estimation becomes challenging. This paper proposes a method based on equivalent circuit model (ECM) and circuit simulation to evaluate the performance of the PEH with SEC. First, the parameters of the multi-mode ECM are identified from theoretical analysis. The ECM is then established in SPICE software and validated by the theoretical model and finite element method (FEM) with resistive loads. Subsequently, the optimal performances with SEC and CEC are compared considering the practical DC interface circuit. A comprehensive evaluation of the advantageous performance with SEC is provided for the first time. The results demonstrate the feasibility of using SEC as a simple and effective means to improve the performance of a cantilevered PEH at a higher mode.


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