Piezoelectric stack transducer evaluation and comparison for optimized energy harvesting
Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) is the most prevalent piezoelectric material used around the world. These materials are used in a wide array of devices across a vast group of applications. The primary focus of this research is on the application and optimization of direct piezoelectric effect in energy harvesting from low frequency mechanical vibration. The specific research aim is at understanding the stacked PZT transducers in their mechanisms and performance on effective electromechanical energy conversion. Piezoelectric power output has been determined based on understanding of the fundamental concepts in composites (1:3 bi-phasic) and stack transducers. Several property structure relations are evaluated by various experimental methods including the utilization of electrodynamic test systems (Acumen III and the Universal Testing Machine 25, both by MTS Systems Corp.). The converted power is monitored and recorded using pc interfaced digital multimeter (Metrahit by Messtechnik GmbH). Power evaluation is compared among several samples in order to understand the most efficient configuration utilizing PZT ceramics. Impedance measurements, piezoelectric coefficients and permittivity calculations are evaluated to more accurately compare the samples. Power density as function of applied mechanical force and pressure, are calculated and compared with experimental results which yield good agreement. Three types of stack PZT transducers were compared and systemically tested for their electromechanical power conversion performance. While 1:3 composite stack PZT transducer was found to be the best performer in term of power density per active volume, the custom fabricated stack PZT transducers (UTSA stack sample) were found to have the highest power density per total transducer volume, 0.615 μW/mm3, measured at 965 kN/m2 (140 PSI), among the three types studied.