Sensors (Basel). 2023 Jan 26;23(3):1372. doi: 10.3390/s23031372.
In recent years, harvesting energy from ubiquitous ultralow-frequency vibration sources, such as biomechanical motions using piezoelectric materials to power wearable devices and wireless sensors (e.g., personalized assistive tools for monitoring human locomotion and physiological signals), has drawn considerable interest from the renewable energy research community. Conventional linear piezoelectric energy harvesters (PEHs) generally consist of a cantilever beam with a piezoelectric patch and a proof mass, and they are often inefficient in such practical applications due to their narrow operating bandwidth and low voltage generation. Multimodal harvesters with multiple resonances appear to be a viable solution, but most of the previously proposed designs are unsuitable for ultralow-frequency vibration. This study investigated a novel multimode design, which included a bent branched beam harvester (BBBH) to enhance PEHs’ bandwidth output voltage and output power for ultralow-frequency applications. The study was conducted using finite element method (FEM) analysis to optimize the geometrical design of the BBBH on the basis of the targeted frequency spectrum of human motion. The selected design was then experimentally studied using a mechanical shaker and human motion as excitation sources. The performance was also compared to the previously proposed V-shaped bent beam harvester (VBH) and conventional cantilever beam harvester (CBH) designs. The results prove that the proposed BBBH could harness considerably higher output voltages and power with lower idle time. Its operating bandwidth was also remarkably widened as it achieved three close resonances in the ultralow-frequency range. It was concluded that the proposed BBBH outperformed the conventional counterparts when used to harvest energy from ultralow-frequency sources, such as human motion.
PMID:36772411 | PMC:PMC9920018 | DOI:10.3390/s23031372