EC 708


ECU 072 02


I. Basic theory of piezoelectricity
II. Power harvesting: circuitry and
technical details
III.Case study: InnowattechTM


• Discovered in 1880 by the Jacques and
Pierre Curie, word derived from Greek word
“piezein” (to press)
• Definition: property of certain crystalline
materials ,by which, when subjected to a
mechanical force, they become electrically
polarized (direct piezoelectric effect)
• Tension and compression generates
voltages of opposite polarity
• Inverse process also exists (inverse
piezoelectric effect)
• Examples of piezomaterials: quartz, barium
titanate and tourmaline (naturally3

PIEZOELECTRIC CERAMICS • Preferred to naturally occurring piezomaterials like quartz • Advantage: the composition. shape and dimensions can be tailored to meet specific requirements • Ceramics manufactured from formulations based on lead zirconate/lead titanate exhibit good sensitivity and higher 4 .



of polarity opposite to that of the polarizing field can depolarize the material  Thermal limitations: on heating to temperatures above the curie point.BEHAVIOUR OF A PIEZOELECTRIC CERAMIC ELEMENT  Influence of input frequency: resonance frequency frequency at which element vibrates most readily in response to electrical input. depolarization occurs. 7 Recommended upper operating temperature = . or at which the impedance of the material attains a minimum value  Electromechanical coupling factor ‘k’ measure of the effectiveness by which a piezoelectric material converts mechanical energy to electrical energy or vice versa  Electrical limitations: exposure to a strong electric field.

PIEZOELECTRICITY FOR ENERGY GENERATION • Already in use in low power applications such as wireless sensors. and lack of suitable means to accumulate the generated energy continually until usable amounts of energy is stored 8 • Recent research has revealed novel . and for powering microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) • High power application limited until now due to low power output of piezomaterials.

due to its inability to store large amounts of power 2. causing the circuit output to switch on and off. reasons: 1. POWER HARVESTING FROM MECHANICAL VIBRATIONS 2 options for power storage: Capacitors & rechargeable batteries  Capacitors not generally preferred. Fast discharge rate. Not an efficient storage medium. making a periodic power supply 9 .

Quick pack type or QP 3.DIFFERENT TYPES OF PIEZOELECTRIC DEVICES FOR RECHARGING BATTERIES or PZT 1. Lead-zirconate-titanate (traditionally used) 2. Macro-fiber composite or MFC 10 .

PROPERTIES OF EACH MFC • Interdigita ted electrode pattern • Extremely flexible • Robust to damage and environme ntal conditions QP PZT • Less flexible than MFC but more robust than PZT • Extremel y brittle and suspectib le to accident al breakage 11 .

EXPERIMENTAL SETUP Experimental setup with the MFC plate and PZT plate in a cantilever configuration 12 .

a PCB accelerometer. was randomly placed on the air compressor of a car The engine was run at various speeds and the response was measured The excitation was a signal of similar amplitude and frequency content as identified from the compressor 16 .COMPARISON STUDY • • • • A criterion: the time required to charge various capacity batteries when subjected to a realistic ambient vibration source To measure the vibration signature of the automobile.

unlike lithium ion batteries.BATTERY CHARGING CIRCUIT • Nickel metal hydride batteries were chosen because they have a high charge density and. they do not require any type of charge controller or voltage regulator to be incorporated into the circuitry • The simplicity of this circuit allows it to be constructed very compactly and without 14 additional components that would result in .

CURRENT OUTPUTS AT FUNDAMENTAL FREQUENCY Poor performance of MFC due to increased impedance caused by interdigitated electrodes 15 .


DAMPING EFFECT OF POWER HARVESTING • As a result of the removal of energy from the system conservation of energy says that increased damping must occur Fig: The damping effect caused by power harvesting on the impulse response of a beam for three different load resistances 17 .

RESULTS • • • Load resistance set at a low value of 100 Ω: does not dissipate a large amount of energy. in turn. when the load resistance becomes very high. causing higher damping that is apparent in the decreased settling time of the response Load resistance further increased to 100 kΩ: gives the system the ability to dissipate a large amount of energy from the system. However. causing only a small amount of damping to be added to the system Load resistance set at an ideal value of 15 kΩ: maximum flow of energy from the PZT device and. the ability of energy to flow from the PZT material is reduced causing the damping induced in the system to decrease 18 .

OPTIMIZED ENERGY HARVESTING CIRCUIT • Using step-down converter in discontinuous conduction mode • Use of the converter increased the power to the energy storage element. an electrochemical battery. by 400% as compared to when the battery was directly charged with a piezoelectric elementrectifier circuit 19 .

when the optimal duty cycle is nearly constant. so operation at the optimal power point is ensured.the optimal duty cycle is relatively fixed. the step-down converter will operate at the fixed duty cycle specified by formula • Allows for a simple controller consisting of a fixedduty-cycle pulse-width-modulated signal to drive the switching MOSFET • Advantages: 1.CIRCUIT IMPLEMENTATION • Dual method of energy harvesting is used • At higher excitation levels of the piezoelectric device. 2. the higher excitations provide 20 sufficient energy to offset converter and control .

the battery will be charged by a pulse-charging circuit connected to the piezoelectric elementrectifier circuit with the step-down converter bypassed • The threshold level of mechanical excitation dividing the two modes depends on: the power produced by the piezoelectric element. the power consumption of the control circuitry. • At lower excitations.. and the optimal duty cycle stabilization 21 . the losses of the step-down converter.CONTD.


81% 23 . the optimal duty cycle is theoretically determined to be 2.THE OPTIMAL DUTY CYCLE • With a constant mechanical excitation frequency of 338 rad/s.


CASE STUDY: TM INNOWATTECH GREEN ENERGY SOLUTIONS → An Israel based privately held company specializing in the development of custom piezoelectric generators → Has developed a new breed of piezoelectric generators ideally suited to harvest the mechanical energy imparted to roadways from passing vehicles → Innowattech's vehicular system can produce 400 kWh from a 1 km stretch 25 of dual carriageway   .

ROADS SOLUTION • First an opening is drilled 20cm in depth and 50 cm in width under each wheel footprint • The bottom surface of the opening is levelled • A 3cm layer of quick drying concrete is placed at the bottom of the opening • Concrete slabs with generators embedded within are placed on top of this layer.thus the generators are 5cm below road level • The generators are connected with each other and to with the harvesting module • The road is asphalted over the generators to reach the initial level 26 .



. with elasticity being its dominant material characteristic.CONTD. part of the energy the vehicle expands on roads deformation is transformed into electric29energy (via . A typical asphalt road can be described as a viscoelasto-plastic material. This deflection is released as thermal energy. one of them is to overcome rolling resistance. • • • • • The IPEG™s (Innowattech Piezoelectric Electric Generators) harvest energy ordinarily wasted by vehicles  The energy consumed by the vehicle (sourced in the fuel combustion) utilized for a variety of applications. the road deflects vertically. For a road with embedded piezoelectric generators. When a vehicle passes over a road.

ADVANTAGES OF THIS TECHNOLOGY Pure energy harvesting (parasitic energy only) Weather independent Solution integrated with infrastructure – theft & damage proof Solution does not require purchase of real estate 30 .

CONTD.. Providing electricity for areas remote from main electricity lines 31 . “Smart Road. Proximity to consumer Data collection.” etc.g. e.

The solution harvests the energy wasted during human 32 movement . • HEAVY PRESS MACHINERY: in factories that use heavy press machinery.OTHER SOLUTIONS • RAILWAYS: can be used for both underground and over ground rail systems. Applicable to systems with concrete. • PEDESTRIAN TILES: can be used in locations with a large number of pedestrians passing through on a regular basis. steel or wooden ties. The solution is placed under the heavy press machinery and harvests the energy wasted during the machinery's operation.


TECHNOLOGY COMPARISON *Depending on the volume of traffic **Assuming revenue from consumer of 10¢ per kWh ***Assuming revenue from consumer of $60 per barrel 34 .

Henry A. Catalog No. Member. by Henry A. 2. A. Park† and 35 D. 18. Inman and Gyuhae Park Article: Comparison of Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Devices for Recharging Batteries. Inman. IEEE. Piezoelectric Theory and Applications. IEEE. Lesieutre. MARCH 2003 Article: Estimation of Electric Charge Output for Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting.: 90-1015. Centre for Intelligent Material Systems and Structures Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg. Member. Article: A Review of Power Harvesting from Vibration using Piezoelectric Materials. Sodano. Inman*. *Centre for Intelligent Material Systems and Structures. H. and George A. Ottman. . IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER ELECTRONICS. Hofmann. VOL. Sodano and Daniel J. Sodano*. VA 24061 Article: Optimized Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Circuit Using Step-Down Converter in Discontinuous Conduction Mode. J. Heath F. Daniel J.REFERENCES • • • • • • Official website of Innowattech. NO. Geffrey K. abstracted from the book Piezoelectric Ceramics: Principles and Applications. G.