Abstract

Self-powered sensor systems that are able to harvest energy from surrounding vibrations are a promising solution for wearable devices, Internet of Things (IoT) and sensing in challenging industrial environments. An automated, adjustable system for testing piezoelectric energy harvester devices is necessary to ensure that developed solutions provide sufficient energy output, minimal losses and reliability of all components under a range of operating conditions. Herein we propose a novel and unique solution as a standalone software tool developed in Python with optional electronics to achieve automated characterisation of electrical properties of vibration powered energy harvesters. Due to its unique modular construction, the tool can be applied to a variety of experimental conditions, to enhance and facilitate piezoelectric materials characterisation and validate self-powered devices for wide spectrum of industrial applications, including long-term performance and fatigue testing. We demonstrate its performance and capabilities by testing piezoelectric materials and electronic circuits at a range of conditions such as (i) high temperature piezoelectric material characterization, (ii) high temperature rectifying circuit performance, and (iii) room temperature investigation of an energy harvesting device. We release the software and hardware described in this work as an open-source tool freely available to broader audience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108285
JournalMeasurement: Journal of the International Measurement Confederation
Volume168
Early online date27 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Automatic test bench
  • Energy harvesting
  • Instrumentation control
  • Laboratory automation
  • Piezoelectric
  • Python
  • Test station

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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