Investigation of geometries of bistable piezoelectric-laminate plates for vibration-based energy harvesting

David N. Betts, Christopher R. Bowen, Daniel J. Inman, Paul M. Weaver, H. A. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)
170 Downloads (Pure)


The need for reduced power requirements for small electronic components, such as wireless sensor networks, has prompted interest in recent years for energy harvesting technologies capable of capturing energy from broadband ambient vibrations. Encouraging results have been reported for an arrangement of piezoelectric layers attached to carbon fiber / epoxy laminates which possess bistability by virtue of their specific asymmetric stacking sequence. The inherent bistability of the underlying structure is exploited for energy harvesting since a transition from one stable configuration to another, or 'snap-through', is used to repeatedly strain the surface-bonded piezoelectric and generate electrical energy. Existing studies, both experimental and modelling, have been limited to simple geometric laminate shapes, restricting the scope for improved energy harvesting performance by limiting the number of design variables. In this paper we present an analytical model to predict the static shapes of laminates of any desired profile, validated experimentally using a digital image correlation system. Good accuracy in terms of out-of-plane displacements (5-7%) are shown in line with existing square modelling results. The static model is then mapped to a dynamics model and used to compare results against an experimental study of the harvesting performance of an example arbitrary geometry piezoelectric-laminate energy harvester.
Original languageEnglish
Article number90571E
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Early online date1 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014
EventActive and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, 2014 - San Diego, USA United States
Duration: 10 Mar 201413 Mar 2014


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