A versatile and fully instrumented test station for piezoelectric energy harvesters

A. K. Batra, J. R. Currie, Almuatasim Alomari, M. D. Aggarwal, C. R. Bowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (SciVal)
115 Downloads (Pure)


This paper describes the implementation of LabVIEW software to control instruments and acquire data from a piezoelectric energy harvesting test station which is based on a cantilever structure. The experiment is run in the Clean Energy Laboratory on the Ambient Energy Harvester Test Station. A digital multimeter, a programmable resistance selector, an arbitrary waveform generator, a shaker table, an accelerometer and a laser displacement sensor are used to control and acquire data in terms of harvested energy as a function of vibration frequency and load resistance. LabVIEW software is used to control the test station which makes near real-time data measurements, displays waveforms on a PC screen, and stores data for later analysis. Acquired waveforms are presented in terms of frequency versus voltage of the vibrating cantilever at preselected ranges of load resistances in terms of either AC or DC voltages. The vibration of the cantilever beam is measured with an accelerometer and beam movement is measured with a laser displacement meter. Test results are stored in a comma separated variable text file which can be imported into any data analysis software package. All experiments are performed on an isolated optical bench to avoid interference from mechanical noise that may exist in the surrounding environment. The system provides an integrated approach to characterize key performance indicators for energy harvesting materials and devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
Early online date31 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Cantilever
  • LabVIEW
  • Piezoelectric energy harvesting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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