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Piezoelectric Energy Harvester Project

  1. Dec 15, 2009 #1
    I am undertaking a project to design a piezoelectric ramp (small scale model) to generate power when force is exerted upon it. The project is simply proof of concept but in principle I thought a piezoelectric ceramic (PZT) aligned vertically with a hinged ramp exerting the force on the Piezomaterial (similar to orienting a piece of piezoceramic near the hinge of a door then closing the door causing the Piezoceramic to deform and so produce voltage.

    Since these materials seem prohibitively expensive at the larger dimensions that would allow this to generate useable power, my scale model is going to be very small indeed (around 4cm x 2cm seems to be what i can get for 200USD) I am hoping to store the energy in capacitors which when filled will charge a battery.

    I am not too interested in the ultimate design or anything for this project, I just need to demonstrate the principle of force being converted to voltage and ideally storing it somehow. There is surprisingly little information online so far, but it is an idea that interests me a lot.

    Does anyone have any pointers or experience in endeavours of this type, are there any glaring mistakes in my assumptions, thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 15, 2009 #2


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    Keep in mind that a piezoelectric element can't gather a constant stream of energy from a constant force- the force must be varying in time, sinusoidally for example.
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