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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 16, Number 4, October 2015 , pages 623-640

Modelling and experimental investigations on stepped beam with cavity for energy harvesting
A. Rami Reddy, M. Umapathy, D. Ezhilarasi and G. Uma

    This paper presents techniques to harvest higher voltage from piezoelectric cantilever energy harvester by structural alteration. Three different energy harvesting structures are considered namely, stepped cantilever beam, stepped cantilever beam with rectangular and trapezoidal cavity. The analytical model of three energy harvesting structures are developed using Euler-Bernoulli beam theory. The thickness, position of the rectangular cavity and the taper angle of the trapezoidal cavity is found to shift the neutral axis away from the surface of the piezoelectric element which in turn increases the generated voltage. The performance of the energy harvesters is evaluated experimentally and is compared with regular piezoelectric cantilever energy harvester. The analytical and experimental investigations reveal that, the proposed energy harvesting structures generate higher output voltage as compared to the regular piezoelectric cantilever energy harvesting structure. This work suggests that through simple structural modifications higher energy can be harvested from the widely reported piezoelectric cantilever energy harvester.
Key Words
    energy harvesting; piezoelectric; stepped beam; rectangular cavity; trapezoidal cavity
A. Rami Reddy, M. Umapathy, D. Ezhilarasi and G. Uma: Department of Instrumentation and Control Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli-620015, TamilNadu, India

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