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Design and Modeling of Hydraulic Pressure Energy Harvesters for Low Dynamic Pressure Environments

[+] Author Affiliations
Ellen Skow, Kenneth Cunefare, Alper Erturk

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Paper No. IMECE2014-38684, pp. V04BT04A055; 7 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 4B: Dynamics, Vibration, and Control
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, November 14–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4648-3
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Hydraulic Pressure Energy Harvesters (HPEHs) use the direct piezoelectric effect to extract electrical power from the dynamic pressure ripple present in hydraulic systems. As with other energy harvesters, an HPEH is intended to be an enabling technology for powering sensor nodes. To date, HPEH devices have been developed for high-pressure, high-dynamic pressure ripple systems. High-pressure applications are common in industrial hydraulics, where static pressures may be up to 35 MPa. Other fluid systems, such as cross-country pipelines as well as water distribution networks operate at much lower pressures, e.g., from around 1 to 4 MPa, with proportionally lower dynamic pressures. Single-crystal piezoelectric materials are incorporated into the HPEH design, along with means to increase the load transfer into the piezoelectric material as well as increased output harvester circuits, so as to increase the power output of these devices. The load transfer from the pressurized fluid into the piezoelectric material is through an interface, where the interface area may be designed such that the area exposed to the fluid is greater than the cross-sectional area of the piezoelectric, yielding higher stress in the material than the pressure in the fluid. Furthermore, given the relatively large capacitance of the piezoelectric elements used in HPEH devices, inductive-tuned resonant harvester circuits implemented with passive elements are feasible. HPEH devices integrating these features are shown to produce viable power outputs from low dynamic pressure systems.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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