An Investigation of the Effect of Curved Cantilever Geometry on Piezoelectric Power Output


Team PISO recognizes an urgent need for new niches of environmentally sustainable energy, and believes that piezoelectric materials offer a small part of a solution. With this consideration, Team PISO has focused on the process of optimizing the application of strain on a piezoelectric component by altering the dimensions of a cantilever beam. Future research in this avenue could focus on a computational model based off of the experimental data collected herein, or more focused optimization of a selected cantilever profile. In the long term, PISO’s research could be applied to energy harvesters to reclaim power from vibrations and deformations, such as sounds and footsteps, as a novel source of renewable energy for implementation in public, heavily-traveled areas. This paper investigates the relationship between the geometric shape of a piezoelectric cantilever structure and its power output from discrete impulses. To this end, Team PISO created several curved cantilevers to examine the impact of the geometry of a piezoelectric cantilever on its output. These cantilevers were tested on an apparatus that simulated the movement of a footstep and their power outputs compared. PISO concluded that convex cantilevers were the most effective, with the convex spherical geometry outputting 24% more power than the control rectangular geometry.