Piezoelectric-Based Vibration Energy Harvester

M. Jeutten
Iowa State University Research Foundation,
United States

Keywords: energy harvester, energy systems, sensors, electronics, microelectronics


A potential means of extending battery life is the use of miniature renewable self-contained power supply units, which can convert ambient vibrations from existing sources in their environment into electrical form, and use this harvested energy to supplement batteries and/or other energy storage elements. This invention employs a unique nonlinear, self-tuning, bistable vibration energy harvester capable of harvesting energy from broadband and varying-amplitude sources, combined with synchronized energy extraction circuits using electronic breaker switches for efficient harvesting. BENEFITS ● Extends battery life by effectively converting ambient vibrations into electrical energy ● Combines nonlinear bistable transduction with synchronized extraction ● Piezoelectric harvester with a simple micro-engineered design allowing a variety of material choices for ease of implementation ● ~100X increased harvested power, especially for broadband variations, compared to other harvesters using the same input, due to bistable transduction and synchronized extraction ● Presents a completely mechanical, zero-energy-cost method to increase range of excitation amplitudes over which the system remains bistable, further doubling the efficiency over varying amplitude excitations ● Presents for the first time an accurate mathematical model for a bistable transducer by augmenting the Butterworth van Dyke piezoelectric model to capture external magnetic forces