Energy Harvesting

Partner: Georgia Institute of Technology

In the past two decades, the technological advances in electronics enabled an exponential growth in the use of portable and mobile electronic devices. The miniaturization of these electronic devices led a huge reduction in power consumption while leaving each device to carry its own conventional battery with a finite life span. Finite life span of batteries cause unexpected problems and limits the usages of these devices. So, the main motivation of the energy harvesting methodologies is to convert surrounding energy (solar, thermal, wind) to usable energy, especially to recharge the batteries.

In this project, we are using piezoelectric materials for energy harvesting on plate-like structures. The piezoelectric materials have large power densities and can be used as vibration energy harvesters in different structural forms.  The most common form of piezoelectric energy harvesters are the 1D cantilever structures where the modeling is very easy however applications are quite limited. Marine, aerospace, and automotive applications are mainly composed of plate-like structures and the piezoelectric materials can be easily attached on the surface of these structures. For that reason, we are working on the energy harvesting capabilities of plate-like structures and demonstrate the power generation performances of different piezoelectric materials.