Piezoelectric Vibration Energy Harvesting From Coupled Structural-Acoustic Systems
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A comprehensive theoretical and experimental study of the fundamentals and the underlying phenomena governing the operation of piezoelectric vibration energy harvesting from coupled structural-acoustic systems is presented. Analytical and finite element models are developed based on variational formulations to describe the energy harvesting from uncoupled structural elements as well as structural elements coupled with acoustic cavities. The models enable the predictions of the structural displacement, output electric voltage, and fluid pressure for various loading conditions on the energy harvesting system. The developed models also include dynamic magnification means to enhance the energy harvesting capabilities and enable harnessing of the vibration energy over a broader operating frequency range.
The predictions of all the models are experimentally validated by using structural elements varying from beams to plates. Close agreements are demonstrated between the theoretical predictions and the obtained experimental results.
The theoretical and experimental tools developed, in this dissertation, provide invaluable means for designing a wide variety of efficient energy harvesters for harnessing the vibrational energy inside automobiles, helicopters, aircrafts, and other types of structures that interact internally or externally with a fluid medium. With such harnessed energy, a slew of on-board sensors can be powered to enable the continuous monitoring of the condition and health of these structures without the need for external power sources.