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Piezoelectric energy harvesting using a diaphragm structure

Sunghwan Kim, William W. Clark , and Qing-Ming Wang**
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh
Energy harvesting using piezoelectric material is not a new concept, but its small generation capability has
not been attractive for mass energy generation. For this reason, little research has been done on the topic.
Recently, wearable computer concepts, as well as small portable electrical devices, are a few motivations
that have ignited the study of piezoelectric energy harvesting again. The theory behind cantilever type
piezoelectric elements is well known, but the transverse moving diaphragm elements, which can be used in
pressure type energy generation is not yet fully developed. The power generation in a diaphragm depends
on several factors. Among them, the thickness of each layer is important. In this paper, two diaphragm
structures, unimorph and regrouped unimorph, were used to calculate energy generation with varying
thickness ratio using piezoelectric constitutive equation. The results of this analysis are presented with an
eye toward guidelines for design of a useful energy harvesting structure.
Keywords: Piezoelectric, energy harvesting, diaphragm, unimorph



Energy has been essential in building up modern society. It is required everywhere from the household light
bulb to a mission to Mars. Some energy can be seen, light for example, but most does not have a visible
form. Energy is defined in several ways, such as mechanical, electrical, and chemical. All of these
definitions are based on where the energy is stored.
Energy is stored everywhere. Heat, electricity, mechanical, chemical, photo and biomass forms of energy
are all stored differently, but can be converted from one to the other. Among many types of energy,
electricity is the most commonly used form for modern devices because it is easy to convert to other types.
The term “power generation” commonly refers to energy conversion from other energy forms to electrical
There are many ways to complete electrical conversions. Photocells convert light to electricity,
thermocouples convert heat to electricity, and magneto-electric generators convert mechanical energy to
electricity. These are all called power generators and are frequently used in electricity generation. Similar
to magneto-electric generators, piezoelectric generators (PEG) can also convert mechanical energy to
electrical energy.
Piezoelectric power generators (PEG) have many advantages over other conversion methods. PEG’s consist
of piezoelectric ceramics, and electrodes which cover them. Because of their simplicity, PEG’s can even be
made on the scale of micro electromechanical systems (MEMS). Another advantage is that the lifetime of
the system is almost unlimited if the applied force and external temperature are within the operational
range. Unlike the power generation methods that rely on heat conversion, a PEG presents no problems such
as heat isolation. In addition, the mechanical energy required for conversion can conceivably be obtained
from the PEG’s environment. Even with these advantages, PEG’s have been neglected for power
generation because of the small electrical output.
Recently, PEG’s have seen regained interest in the power generation field for portable and low power
consuming devices. The merit of applying PEG’s to these devices is that they can reduce the required; phone: 412-624-9794; fax 412-624-4846; phone: 412-624-4885; fax 412-624-4846


Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Smart Electronics, MEMS, BioMEMS, and Nanotechnology,
Vijay K. Varadan, Laszlo B. Kish, Editors, Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 5055 (2003)
© 2003 SPIE · 0277-786X/03/$15.00

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Unimorph PZT Circular plate with electrode configuration and it’s polling direction The moment equation which is needed for the calculation of the curvature is obtained from the elasticity solution [7] for the clamped circular diaphragm. Some research has also been done for an acoustic isolator application. Two diaphragms were used to control noise. For the analytical analysis of the piezoelectric material. To maximize these advantages. From the general elasticity description of a thick plate. of SPIE Vol.spiedigitallibrary. Polymer type piezoelectric material (PVF2) was also investigated for this electrical energy conversion purpose [14]. investigations of circular plate elements will be carried out to analyze their suitability for piezoelectric energy generation. This solution follows some restrictions. while the other was a control actuator which used harvested energy from the other diaphragm [13]. The structure to be studied is shown (in cross-section) in Figure 1. Researchers inserted thunder™ actuators into shoes to harvest energy from walking. such as impact and on 10/05/2016 Terms of Use: http://spiedigitallibrary. 308 Proc. The structure has a piezoelectric layer bonded to a substrate. the constitutive equations has been established for the electrical and mechanical coupling in the PZT ceramics [12] and multiple layered cantilever beam was analyzed for actuators [8.aspx . the electrical-mechanical characteristics of piezoelectric materials must be revisited. the energy method will be used to calculate the charge generation. 2 THEORETICAL ANALYSIS A diaphragm structure is a common structure for pressure sensors such as those that detect acoustic pressure or hydraulic pressure. The interest here is in determining the factors that lead to maximum electrical energy generation in relation to a given volume of material or applied mechanical it is known that there is no shear strain and no stress along thickness direction (z-dir). One was for energy harvesting. Figure 1.battery weight and possibly make the device self-powered by harvesting mechanical energy. To answer this question. including the conventional diaphragm (full electrode coverage) and modified diaphragm (regrouped electrodes) configurations. In this paper. The analytical solution exists for a circular disk with clamped edges.2]. research has been conducted into various loading conditions.5]. there are problems to resolve such as how to design the PEG in order to optimize its electrical energy production. Another restriction is that the deflection is much smaller than the thickness of the plate. pressure. Among them. or stress.10. Different electrode patterns are studied. Actual implementation of energy harvesting from human movement using PEG’s has been studied [3. In this paper. Researchers claim that PEGs lose performance under the resonance forcing condition [4] or under the impact forcing condition [1.11] and sensors [9] purpose. In the energy harvesting area. a great amount of research has been done. 5055 Downloaded From: http://proceedings.

there will be two curvatures and each curvature equation will be in terms of both moment terms. In this paper. The second case will be a unimorph diaphragm containing regrouped electrodes.aspx 309 . Thus. T is stress. D3 is charge density. The subscripts r and R are used instead of 1 and 2.spiedigitallibrary. the top electrode is sectioned and one area is repoled. However. One is in the radial direction and the other is in the angular direction.Po ( a 4  2a 2r 2 + r 4 ) 64D  s2Wr ¬ 1 W P s r ­ M r = D žž + ­­ = o (a 2  3r 2 + Oa 2  Or 2 ) žŸ sr 2 r sr ® 16  1 sWr s2Wr ¬­ Po 2 M R = D žž +O ­= (a  r 2 + Oa 2  3Or 2 ) Ÿž r sr sr 2 ®­ 16 Wr = (1) (2) where Wr is the deflection of the diaphragm in the z direction. and a is the radius of the diaphragm. and s11 is elastic compliance constant for PZT at constant electric field. ‹T is the permittivity of PZT at constant stress.1 Unmodified unimorph diaphragm The moment in the diaphragm was calculated using piezoelectric constitutive equation and compared with classical elasticity solution shown Equations (1) and (2). FR = SR ( z  zc ) (3) where zc is the distance between the neutral surface and the centroid. Therefore. and the direction perpendicular to the surface is d 31 is E the piezoelectric constant. the strain-curvature equation for the unimorph diaphragm is described as Fr = Sr ( z  zc ) . The constant D is related to the structure property but is not important here because it will be canceled out when the deflection Equation (1) is substituted into the moment Equation (2) and these moments are need to calculate the stresses in the PEG. As in the unimorph cantilever beam. For the piezoelectric layer. The first case will consist of a unimorph diaphragm that is completely covered with electrode. the angular direction is 2. Po is pressure. The radial direction is 1. The constitutive equation [6] can be written for the diaphragm and is E ( Tr  OTR )  d31E 3 Fr = s11 E ( TR  OTr )  d31E 3 FR = s11 (4) D3 = d31 ( Tr + TR ) + ‹T33E 3 E E / s11 where O ( = s12 ) is Poisson’s ratio and the poling direction is downward. 5055 Downloaded From: http://proceedings. Q is the Poisson’s ratio. there are two moment terms for diaphragms. that on 10/05/2016 Terms of Use: http://spiedigitallibrary. energy generation for two different types of unimorph diaphragms will be analyzed. Unlike the cantilever beam case. Using this piezoelectric constitutive equation. for the common unimorph diaphragm. the stress is Proc. Only elastic properties of the PZT and substrate will be considered to calculate neutral surface of the unimorph diaphragm. as the elastic properties are the same for radial and angular direction. z is the distance from the centroid to the location of strain. and subscripts r and T indicate direction. Also the neutral surface moves by the electric field changes but this change is assumed to be small enough to be neglected. 2. stress can be described in terms of strain and electric field. H is strain. In Equation (4). of SPIE Vol. r is the distance from the center of the diaphragm to the point of deflection. the neutral surface of the unimorph diaphragm is not on the middle surface. there is only one neutral surface. E 3 is electric field strength. U is curvature. since the surface depends only on the cross-section of the device.

the above energy equations can be written as a function of moment and electric field.Trp = 1 ( Fr + OFR + ( 1 + O )d 31E 3 ) E s11 (1  O 2 ) TRp = 1 ( OFr + FR + ( 1 + O ) d31E 3 ) E s11 ( 1  O 2 ) and for the non-piezoelectric layer Trm = 1 ( Fr + OFR ) sm ( 1  O 2 ) TRm = 1 ( OFr + FR ) sm ( 1  O 2 ) (5) (6) Here. This moment can also be replaced by equation (2). the curvature is Sr =  E E E 12s11 sm ( s11 hm + sm hp ) 6d31s11 sm hp hm ( hm + hp ) ( M r  OM R ) + E3 B31 B31 E E E 12s11 sm ( s11 hm + sm hp ) 6d31s11 sm hp hm ( hm + hp ) ( M R  OM r ) + SR =  E3 B31 B31 (8) E E E 2 sm hm hp 3 + 6s11 sm hm 2hp 2 + 4s11 sm hm 3hp + hm 4s11 where B31 = hp 4sm 2 + 4s11 Energies of each layer are described differently. the energies in a small volume can be described as d31 ( Trp + TRp ) 1 1 1 dU p = Fr Trp + FR TRp  E 3 + ‹T33E 32 for piezoelectric 2 2 2 2 (9) 1 1 for non-piezoelectric dU m = Fr Trm + FR TRm 2 2 The stresses used in Equation (9) can be replaced with Equation (5) and (6).org/ss/termsofuse. As in the cantilever beam case. After rearranging. using the straincurvature equations (3) and (8).org/ on 10/05/2016 Terms of Use: http://spiedigitallibrary.spiedigitallibrary. and hp is the thickness of the PZT layer The strain-curvature equations can be obtained by substituting equation (3) into the equation (7). For the diaphragm structure. of SPIE Vol. Therefore. The moment equation from the above stress equation is described as Mr = MR = hp  Fr + OFR ( 1 + O ) d31E 3 ¬­ ¨ 0 žžžžŸ ( 1  O 2 )s11E + ( 1  O 2 )s11E hp  ¨0 ­­ ( z  zc )dz + ®­ ¬ žž OFr + FR + ( 1 + O )d31E 3 ­­ ( z  z )dz + c E ­ 2 žžŸ ( 1  O 2 )s E ( 1  O )s11 ®­ 11  Fr + OFR ¬­ 0 ¨ h žžžžŸ ( 1  O 2 )sm ®­­­( z  zc )dz m  OFr + FR ¨ hm žžžžŸ ( 1  O 2 )sm 0 ¬­ ­­ ( z  zc )dz ®­ (7) where hm is the thickness of the substrate layer. Then.aspx . 310 Proc. the total system energy can be written in terms of pressure and electric field. 5055 Downloaded From: http://proceedings. the curvature equation may be found from the moment equation which is the integration of the stress and the distance from the neutral surface. sm is the elastic compliance constant for the substrate layer The strain in Equations (5) and (6) can be written in terms of the curvature of the diaphragm and thus can be related to the applied pressure.

mechanical energy derived from uniformly applied pressure can not be converted to electrical energy. Therefore. nor does voltage appear by applying pressure. the conventional unmodified diaphragm structure is not effective for energy harvesting. Therefore.spiedigitallibrary. there is no applied voltage. When converting mechanical energy to electrical energy. of SPIE Vol. Therefore. E K 31 = d312 / ‹ s11 . There is no charge generation from the pressure.U = a 2Q  hp ¨ 0 ¨ 0 žžžŸ ¨ 0 = dU pdz + 0 ¬ dU mdz ­­ rd Rdr ®­ m ¨ h 2 E ¬­ ¬ Qa 6s11 sm Sh ( 1  O 2 ) 2 ‹T33 Qa 2hp ž 3s E 2s h 2h ( h + hm ) 2 ž 2 ­ ­­ E 32 žž 1  žž 1  11 m m p p  1 ­­ K 31 Po + ­ ­ ( 1  O ) žŸ 32B31 2 Sh B31 žŸ ­® ®­ (10) E . The permittivity of the clamped diaphragm structure can be described as 2  3s E 2s h 2h ( h + hm ) ¬­ 2 ¬­ 2 ž žž 1  11 m m p p ‹new = ‹T33 žžž 1  (15) ­­­ K 31 ­­­ ( 1  O ) žŸ Sh B31 žŸ ®­ ®­ Again. ‹ Qa 2 Permittivity × Area = hp Distance (14) Due to the clamped boundary condition. Equation (10). 5055 Downloaded From: http://proceedings. the capacitance can be described as C free = 2 3s E 2s h 2h ( h + hm ) ¬­ 2 ¬­ ‹T33 Qa 2 ž 2 ž žž 1  žž 1  11 m m p p ­­­ K 31 ­­­ ( 1  O ) žŸ hp žŸ Sh B31 ®­ ®­ (13) The term outside of the parenthesis is the description of the capacitance when there are no boundary restrictions. since the electrodes cover the whole surface. Thus none of the energy was converted from the applied pressure.aspx 311 . the permittivity constant has been changed. the electric field ( E 3 ) can be replaced by V / hp . Electric field is constant throughout the structure. Therefore. K 33 is the electromechanical coupling coefficient and is defined as where Sh = hpsm + hms11 2 . Vgen = Qgen =0 C free (16) Proc. Usually capacitance with no boundary condition is Capacitance= . The capacitance is the electrical relation between charge and voltage. the field is constant throughout the diaphragm The generated charge from the external conditions can be found by differentiating the total energy with respect to the voltage (V) which gives Q = 2 3s E 2s h 2h ( h + hm ) ¬­ 2 ¬­ ‹T33 Qa 2 ž 2 ž žž 1  žž 1  11 m m p p ­­­ K 31 ­­­V ( 1  O ) žŸ hp žŸ Sh B31 ®­ ®­ (11) This is the general equation of charge generation. there is no mechanical – electrical coupled term in the charge equation (11).org/ on 10/05/2016 Terms of Use: http://spiedigitallibrary. is unmodified diaphragm behaves as a planar capacitor. QGen = 0 (12) The calculated charge is only the function of applied voltage. After integrating the total energy.

locally there is substantial stress generated in the diaphragm due to the applied pressure (Figure 2). Expanded (Upper surface) Compressed (Upper surface) Figure 2. there is stress in the diaphragm. the partial energy of the diaphragm was calculated and compared to the equation(10). §¨ 2 ¨ 3S11 Sm hp hm hp  hm . When integrated (equation (10)). but some of it results in positive charge and some negative.The generated energy equation from pressure is 1 UGen = C freeVGen 2 = 0 2 (17) Therefore. the net generated electrical energy is zero. the conventional diaphragm should be modified to obtain an energy harvesting function. The energy of the arbitrary volume inside diaphragm can obtained by integrating from zero to r1 where 0 d r1 d a . Then the energy equation is U = r1 2Q  hp ¨ 0 ¨ 0 žžŸž ¨ 0 dU pdz + 0 ¬ dU mdz ­­ rd Rdr ®­ m ¨ h 2 2 E2 · § · r12S ‹. In fact. It is clear that even though there is no net charge generated. Deflection and stress of diaphragm To support above idea.

¸ 2 ¸ 2 K31 V 1 1 ¸¸ ¸ Sh B31 2hp ¨¨ 1 Q ¨ © ¹ © ¹ 2 E 2 2 3 S r1 d31S11 S m hm 1 Q .

hp  hm .

a  r1 .

 PV o B31 4  S r12 S11E Sm S h 1 Q 2 .

3Q r14  a 4 .

 6r12 a 2 1 Q .

 5r14  3a 4 .

And when r1 a . By inspecting the coupled energy term in the equation(18) . U couple v r12 a 2  r12 . (18) 64 B31 This equation (18) shows that the mechanical-electrical coupling term approaches zero when r1 goes to a. the coupled energy has a following relation. the equation (10) and the equation (18) are identical.

aspx . These inner and outer regions’ electric field directions will be opposite to each other as a result of the stress distribution from constant pressure (Figure 3). the diaphragm will be divided into two areas to separate the regions of positive and negative stress (and thus positive and negative charge). of SPIE Vol. 5055 Downloaded From: http://proceedings. Therefore. Here. the maximum coupled energy can be obtained when r1 on 10/05/2016 Terms of Use: http://spiedigitallibrary. 312 Proc.spiedigitallibrary. One is the inner region where r < m and the other is the outer region where r > m . m is a value between 0 and a.707 Regrouped diaphragm In this (19) 2 2 | 0.

The moment equations for the outer region are M ro = M Ro = hp  Fr + OFR ( 1 + O )d31E 3 ¬­ ¬ 0  F + OF R ­ ž r ­­­ ( z  zc )dz + ¨ h žžž ­­­ ( z  zc )dz 2 m Ÿ ( 1  O ) sm ® ® ¬ 0  OF + F ( 1 + O )d 31E 3 ¬­ R ­ r žž ­ ( z  zc )dz + ¨ ­­ ( z  zc )dz  2 2 E ­ ž hm ž ( 1  O )s11 ®­ Ÿ ( 1  O )sm ®­ ¨ 0 Ÿžžžž ( 1  O 2 )s11E  ( 1  O 2 )s11E hp  ¨0 žž OFr + FR žžŸ ( 1  O 2 )s E 11 (23) The curvature equations for inner and outer regions should be different because the electric field directions are different. The poling direction of the outer PZT layer is opposite to that of inner PZT layer. FRi = SRi ( z  zc ) when r < m. so the sign of the piezoelectric constant is different. of SPIE on 10/05/2016 Terms of Use: http://spiedigitallibrary. the stress equations for the outer layer are 1 ( Fr + OFR  ( 1 + O ) d31E 3 ) Tro = E s11 ( 1  O 2 ) (22) 1 ( ) ( ) 1 TRo = E OF F O d E +  + 31 3 r R s11 ( 1  O 2 ) As in the unmodified diaphragm section. The inner region and previous unimorph diaphragm are designed to be identical. the strain equations are related to the curvature and are Fri = Sri ( z  zc ). Inner region Fro = Sro ( z  zc ). The inner region will use the same electric field direction. 5055 Downloaded From: The moment equations for the inner region are shown in equation(7). As in the equation (3). Outer region (21) Stress distributions for the inside of the PZT area are the same as shown in equation (5) and for the substrate layer are shown in equation (6). and the outer region will use the opposite electric field direction.spiedigitallibrary. Then the constitutive equation for the outer region is same as the equation of inner area (4) except the electric field. FRo = SRo ( z  zc ) when r > m. As before. two sets of strain equations are formed. the curvature can be found in terms of moments and electric field. Because of this difference. E ( Tr  OTR ) + d31E 3 Fr = s11 E ( TR  OTr ) + d31E 3 FR = s11 D3 = d31 ( Tr + TR )  (20) ‹T33E 3 The strain equations are different between inner and outer regions because the electric field condition is different. the moment equations are needed to calculate a curvature. Cross section of the PZT layer of the regrouped diaphragm All the equations are the same as previously calculated for the unimorph diaphragm except for the electric field’s direction.a P P P m Figure 3.aspx 313 . Inner area curvature equations are identical as equation (8) and the outer area curvature equations from above equation (23) are Proc. Therefore.

This energy equation can be reduced to unmodified diaphragm energy equation (10) by substituting on 10/05/2016 Terms of Use: http://spiedigitallibrary. ¬ ‹ Qa 2 ž 3s E 2s h h 2 ( hp + hm ) ¬­ 2 ž ­­ K 312 ­­­V žž 1  žž 1  11 m p m ­ ­ hp žŸ Sh B31 1  O žŸ ®­ ®­ E sm hm ( 1 + O ) (hp + hm ) ( a 2  m 2 ) 3Qm 2d31s11  Po 2B31 (27) With this regrouped diaphragm. Thus the energy equations for the inner and outer regions are also different. Two are for the inner region. a pressure term appears as expected. The generated charge with no applied external electric field is QGen =  E 3Qm 2d31s11 sm hm ( 1 + O ) (hp + hm ) ( a 2  m 2 ) Po 2B31 (28) From the relation Q=CV. Differentiating with respect to voltage (V) gives the charge equation.Sro =  SRo E E 6d 31s11 sm hp hm ( hm + hp ) 12s11 sm S h ( M r  OM R )  E3 B31 B31 (24) E 6d31s11 sm hp hm ( hm + hp ) 12s E s S =  11 m h ( M R  O M r )  E3 B31 B31 E E E2 sm hm 2hp2 + 4s11 sm hm hp ( hp 2 + hm 2 ) + hm 4s11 where. Q = 2 .aspx (29) . of SPIE Vol. E2 ¬ ‹ Qa 2 ž 1 3s11 sm hphm 2 ( hp + hm ) ¬­ 1 ž 2­ 2 ž ž 1 =  ­­­ K 31 ­­­V ž ž hp žŸ 2 1  O žŸ Sh B31 ®­ ®­  E E 3Qm 2d31s11 sm hm ( 1 + O ) (hp + hm ) ( a 2  m 2 ) sm S h ( 1  O 2 ) 2 Qa 6s11 VPo + Po 2B31 32B31 (26) The first integral term is for the inner region and the second integral term is for the outer region. Energy equations for the inner area are already shown in equation (9). and the other two are for the outer region curvature. ¬ ‹ Qa 2 ž 3s E 2s h h 2 ( hp + hm ) ¬­ 2 ž ­­ K 312 ­­­ žž 1  žž 1  11 m p m ­ ­ 1  O žŸ hp žŸ Sh B31 ®­ ®­ Proc. the total energy in the structure can be written as U = m 2Q  hp ¨ 0 ¨ 0 žŸžž ¨ 0 dU pidz + 0 ¬ dU midz ­­­ rd Rdr + ® m ¨ h a 2Q  hp ¨ m ¨ 0 Ÿžžž ¨ 0 dU podz + 0 ¨ h m ¬ dU modz ­­­ rd Rdr ® 2 . the open circuit capacitance is C free = 314 2 . The energies in the small volume for the outer area is described as d31 ( Trp + TRp ) 1 1 1 dU po = Fr Trp + FR TRp + E 3 + ‹T33E 32 2 2 2 2 (25) 1 1 dU mo = Fr Trp + FR TRp 2 2 Combining those energy equations for the inner and outer regions. B31 = hp 4sm 2 + 6s11 There are four curvature 5055 Downloaded From: http://proceedings.spiedigitallibrary.

5055 Downloaded From: http://proceedings.aspx 315 .org/ on 10/05/2016 Terms of Use: http://spiedigitallibrary. the electric energy generated by external pressure is 2 UGen 2 E2 2 9Qm 4d312s11 sm Sh hm 2hp ( 1  O )( 1 + O )2 ( a 2  m 2 ) ( h m + hp ) 1 Po 2 (31) = C freeVGen 2 = 2 2 2 2 T E2 2 ( ) 8 ‹33B31a ( 1  O Sh B31  2(Sh B31  3s11 sm hp hm ( hp + hm ) )K 31 ) Proc.spiedigitallibrary. of SPIE the voltage that appears on the electrodes is VGen Qgen = = C free E 3m 2d31s11 sm hm hp ( a 2  m 2 )( 1 + O ) ( h  2‹T33B31a 2 žžž 1  m + hp ) 2 ¬ 3s E 2s h h 2 ( hp + hm ) ¬­ 2 ž ­­ K 312 ­­­ žž 1  11 m p m 1  O Ÿž Sh B31 ®­­ ®­­ (30) Po Ÿž Thus.

spiedigitallibrary.707) and the capacitance was not affected by the regrouping location.127mm Figure 5. The optimal values were found to develop Table Figure 4. 5055 Downloaded From: http://proceedings. Four cases. regrouped to have maximum voltage. of SPIE Vol. regrouped to have maximum capacitance.8mm diaphragm with aluminum substrate layer.707a (RG=0.3 Comparison Up to this point in this paper. the generated voltage. As shown in the plots. the best case is to increase the capacitance and lower the electric field. The right plot in Figure 4 shows the generated charge. the maximum voltage and charge were generated when regrouped at m ! 0.aspx .org/ on 10/05/2016 Terms of Use: http://spiedigitallibrary.7kPa. Capacitance of the piezoelectric generator. These results are shown in Figure 4 and Figure 5. hp=0. since 316 Proc. For a fixed applied pressure on the 50. Pressure=9. The left plot in Figure 4 shows the generated voltage as piezoelectric layer thickness and regrouping radius changes. ST is the thickness ratio ( hm / hp ) and RG is the regroup location ( m / a ). the resulting generated voltage and charge were calculated for a range of thickness and regrouping radii. As expected. In the piezoelectric problems. Voltage (left) and charge (right) output of piezoelectric diaphragm generator for constant uniform pressure and same piezoelectric material.2. Figure 5 shows the variation in the capacitance as a function of regrouping radius and piezoelectric layer thickness ratio. and regrouped to have maximum energy were compared. but is heavily influenced by layer thickness. The capacitance was not affected by regrouping. the permittivity of the PZT also changes with the substrate layer thickness change. ST is the thickness ratio ( hm / hp ) and RG is the regroup location ( m / a ). The un-modified diaphragm case can be obtained from regrouped results with RG=1. This stress distribution change also changes boundary condition of the PZT material. un-modified. and charge depend on the thickness of the substrate layer because the thickness of the substrate layer alters the location of the neutral surface and this change alters the stress distribution. the energy equations for un-modified and regrouped diaphragms were introduced. These equations were used to carry out a parametric study of the diaphragm energy harvesting device.

The capacitance changes are very small compared to the voltage change when varying substrate layer thickness. 3 different piezoelectric layer thicknesses were considered.1 142.06kPa on 10/05/2016 Terms of Use: http://spiedigitallibrary.the piezoelectric material can be damaged by it’s own generated (or applied) electric field.5 nF Regrouped .42 (38) 79. As shown in Table 1. 3 CONCLUSIONS Theoretical calculations show that the change in stress polarity in a loaded structure can be utilized to enhance or optimize energy harvesting by properly poling segments of the piezoelectric material. This location is exactly where the neutral surface crosses the point W=0 in the deflected shape from uniformly applied pressure. which changes the stress distributions in the piezoelectric layer.45 VGen 38. and capacitance of the three different PEGs at their limit pressure. the voltage limit also increases.81 Capacitance C free 374.7 nF The parenthesis in Table 1 indicates maximum permitted voltage (based on PZT5H which has a limit of 300 V/mm).aspx 317 . the voltage limit prevents large energy generation. These differences are caused by the capacitance. Substrate layer thickness ratio with respect to the piezoelectric layer was also studied.10 (38) 79.Max Voltage RG = 0. RG = m / a .099 0.707. the pressure and substrate layer which can generate that limit voltage at optimal location (RG=0.Optimal ST = 0.443 1. of SPIE Vol. The optimum regroup location is not affected by the piezoelectric layer thickness nor substrate layer.3 178.127mm hp=0.707 U Gen mJ 0. The generated voltage increases linearly as pressure increase (Equation(30)) and the energy generation is described as CV 2 / 2 . Table 1. Therefore.707) were found.13 (300) V Regrouped RG = 0. The optimal location of the regrouped electrode interface was found theoretically. With this voltage limitation.8 nF VGen 16.216 0.0 37.81 C free 374. energy. Even with these relations.707 ST = 0.67 .44kPa Units hp=0. The optimal substrate layer thickness is close to the optimal thickness for the voltage. and the limiting voltage (electric field) was found for each case. the pressure increment actually increases the energy generation but reduces the pressureenergy efficiency. There are small differences in their optimum substrate layer thickness between optimal energy and optimal voltage case.23 (300) V Regrouped RG = 0.01 (80) 297.5 nF VGen 38.372 .6 137.3 47. Therefore.63 (300) V U Gen 0. Larger pressure can generate more energy. The optimal regroup location was always at RG=0.049 0.68 (80) Theoretical voltage. The substrate layer thickness changes the location of the neutral surface.3 47.3 178. As the PZT layer becomes thicker. ST hm / hp ) Numerical Calculation Case Po=5. For each case.30 (80) 125. 5055 Downloaded From: http://proceedings.057 Energy C free 298.436 1. the maximum acceptable voltage should be included in the PEG design.16 (38) 33.213 0.98kPa Po=26.Max Gen ST = 1.spiedigitallibrary. This substrate layer Proc.707 U mJ 0. 50.8mm diaphragm.4 36. (PZT5H.65 mJ C free 288. the thickness of the PZT layer can be an indicator for the pressure limit.267mm hp=1mm VGen 0 0 0 V RG = 1 U Gen mJ 0 0 0 Unmodified ST = 1.

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