Topology optimization of a cantilevered piezoelectric energy harvester using stress norm constraints

  • Fabian WeinEmail author
  • Manfred Kaltenbacher
  • Michael Stingl
Research Paper


Vibrational piezoelectric energy harvesters are devices which convert ambient vibrational energy into electric energy. Here we focus on the common cantilever type in which an elastic beam is sandwiched between two piezoelectric plates. In order to maximize the electric power for a given sinusoidal vibrational excitation, we perform topology optimization of the elastic beam and tip mass by means of the SIMP approach, leaving the piezoelectric plates solid. We are interested in the first and especially second resonance mode. Homogenizing the piezoelectric strain distribution is a common indirect approach increasing the electric performance. The large design space of the topology optimization approach and the linear physical model also allows the maximization of electric performance by maximizing peak bending, resulting in practically infeasible designs. To avoid such problems, we formulate dynamic piezoelectric stress constraints. The obtained result is based on a mechanism which differs significantly from the common designs reported in literature.


Topology optimization Energy harvester Stress constraints 



The authors from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg gratefully acknowledge the funding within the framework of its ’Excellence Initiative’ for the Cluster of Excellence ’Engineering of Advanced Materials’.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabian Wein
    • 1
    Email author
  • Manfred Kaltenbacher
    • 2
  • Michael Stingl
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied Mathematics 2, Cluster of Excellence ‘Engineering of Advanced Materials’University of Erlangen-NurembergErlangenGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Mechanics and MechatronicsVienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria

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