Energy Harvesting from Cantilever-based Piezoelectrics with a Nano-scale Coating

(De Gruyter) – Piezoelectric systems convert mechanical energy to electrical energy due to induced stresses in the piezoelectric material. By using vibrational sources, which may be found everywhere, piezoelectric materials may be used for energy harvesting. This use of piezoelectric materials has gained considerable interest because of the materials high power densities, broad voltage output spectrum and its application convenience over other systems.

The authors show that it is possible recover energy from intermodal vibrational sources, where the primary limiting factor of the application of the piezoelectric energy harvesting system has been the insignificant power output for power storage or to directly power electrical device. Intermodal vibration sources are passenger cars and freight trucks moving on streets and highways, trains moving on railway tracks and planes moving on airport runways.

A special nano-mixture coating was developed by the authors to enhance the energy harvesting capability of the conventional piezoelectric material. Lead zirconium titanate (PZT) is a piezoceramic material with proficient piezoelectric effect and it is one of the most widely researched.

The nano-mixture coating is the composition of 40 % ZnO, 58 % ferrofluid and 2 % epoxy binder by weight.

The nano-coated PZT energy harvesting system showed substantial and explicit improvement as compared to non-coated PZT energy harvesting system.

The authors feel that  now it is clear to say that the nano-mixture coating can be integrated into the conventional piezoelectric energy harvesting to enhance future power harvesting capabilities.

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Edited for Content and Length by Dr. Matthew A. Hood.

The full article can be found at De Gruyter in the journal of Energy Harvesting and Systems.

DOI: 10.1515/ehs-2018-0005

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