Harvesting Ambient Energy Through Piezoelectric Effect
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This project aims to design a microelectro-mechanical systems (MEMS) device, harvesting vibrational energy, to produce usable power for naval and other applications. These suspended, and freely oscillating, microscale structures, depicted in Figure 1 would consist of set of multifold legs. One layer of the structure would be made of piezoelectric material, so that device vibrations would produce small voltage at the ends of the structure. These structures are easily produced in arrays of multitude of devices using standard MEMS processes to multiply power output of individual microstructures. Boards containing arrays of such structures would be deployable on the walls of engines or generators and would help to recapture some of the waste vibrational energy and supplement operational energy needs. Ideally, piezoelectric MEMS structures produce maximum power output at a resonant frequency of vibrating elements (such as engines and generators on naval vessels or expeditionary vehicles and equipment) and it is possible to fine-tune the resonant frequency of individual generators to match that of different engines.
Energy Academic Group Science and Technology Project
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