Vibro-Impact Dynamics of a Piezoelectric Energy Harvester

  • K. H. Mak
  • S. McWilliam
  • A. A. Popov
  • C. H. J. Fox
Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


A common design of piezoelectric energy harvester consists of a piezoelectric monomorph cantilever which converts the ambient vibration into electrical energy. However, if the level of the ambient vibration is high, large bending stresses will develop in the monomorph, which can cause fatigue and mechanical failure. A stop is introduced into the harvester to reduce the bending stress by limiting the maximum amplitude of oscillation of the cantilever. The dynamics of such a system is complex and involves considerations of vibro-impact mechanics as well as electromechanical interactions. A theoretical model of a piezoelectric-vibro-impact system is demonstrated in this study. The theoretical model is able to predict the dynamical and electrical responses of an energy harvester. It also estimates the contact force between the cantilever and a stop. Typical simulation results are presented and the physical meaning of the results is explained. The simulation results also show that moving the position of a stop can significantly affect the electrical output from the monomorph.


Energy harvesting Vibration Piezoelectricity Impact dynamics 


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Copyright information

© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. H. Mak
    • 1
  • S. McWilliam
    • 1
  • A. A. Popov
    • 1
  • C. H. J. Fox
    • 1
  1. 1.Materials, Mechanics & Structures Division, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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