, Volume 18, Issue 7-8, pp 1035-1043
Date: 07 Feb 2012

Modeling the performance of a micromachined piezoelectric energy harvester

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Abstract

Piezoelectric energy microgenerators are devices that generate continuously electricity when they are subjected to varying mechanical strain due to e.g. ambient vibrations. This paper presents the mathematical analysis, modelling and validation of a miniaturized piezoelectric energy harvester based on ambient random vibrations. Aluminium nitride as piezoelectric material is arranged between two electrodes. The device design includes a silicon cantilever on which AlN film is deposited and which features a seismic mass at the end of the cantilever. Euler–Bernoulli energy approach and Hamilton’s principle are applied for device modeling and analysis of the operation of the device at various acceleration values. The model shows good agreement with the experimental findings, thus giving confidence into model. Both mechanical and electrical characteristics are considered and compared with the experimental data, and good agreement is obtained. The developed analytical model can be applied for the design of piezoelectric microgenerators with enhanced performance.