Magneto-Mechano-Electric Energy Harvesting Properties of Composite

(De Gruyter) – Technologies that harvest energy from their surroundings are ideal in the passive generation of electricity for small personal electronics. Magneto-mechano-electric responses could be just the phenomenon required to achieve this as it can be used to produce simple and cheap devices that generate low amounts of energy.

One way that energy can be harnessed from the surroundings makes use of the piezoelectric effect that allows vibrational energy to be converted, with the proper materials, structure, and design, into electric energy.

The authors developed an energy generator made of a piezoelectric macro-fiber composite (MFC) and nickel (Ni). The magneto-electric (ME) and magneto-mechano-electric energy harvesting responses of the device were studied using applied magnetic and mechanical stimulations.

Two laminate structures were tested; an asymmetric bilayer (Ni/MFC) and a symmetric trilayer (Ni/MFC/Ni). Both of the structures showed a magneto electric voltage coefficient ME that depended on the applied magnetic field direction.

The layered materials’ ME response and multifunctional behavior compared favorably against single phase and particulate composite structures. In piezoelectric/magnetostrictive coupled systems, the stress/strain transfer between the two phases plays a vital role during the ME interaction and energy harvesting performance, which is significantly affected by the structure of the composite.

The authors showed that electric power was successfully harnessed from magneto-mechanical stimulations resulting in a potential and power up to ~20 Vp–p and ~6 μW, respectively. These values are high enough to power a commercial red LED with traditional rectifier circuit and capacitor.

With these results the authors demonstrate a successful creation of a device for energy harvesting, but also the path forward to optimize the properties of each layer in achieving greater power generation.

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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-2013-0026

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