Design, Modelling, Fabrication & Testing of a Miniature Piezoelectric-based EMF Energy Harvester
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Wireless sensing applications have extended into power transmission line monitoring applications. Minimal power consumption of sensor electronics have enabled kinetic energy harvesting systems to provides a means of self sustainability in the form of parasitic energy harvesting from power transmission lines. With this goal in mind, a miniature piezoelectric bimorph cantilever harvester has been developed using a magnetic tip mass which interacts with the oscillating magnetic flux surrounding power transmission wires. The focus of this thesis is develop an analytical model which can be used to optimize the amount of piezoelectric material to support sensory electronics. Special emphasis has also been placed on magnet orientation and geometry to ensure optimal magnetic flux interaction between input and output mechanisms. A single prototype harvester is designed with an arbitrary piezoelectric material length and experimentally validated at different conductor wire currents. The analytical model shows excellent agreement in frequency prediction for the prototype tested. Two damping techniques are used to experimentally extract modal damping ratios to predict peak mechanical and electrical responses at resonance frequencies. The miniature prototype design is less than 30 mm in length with only 10 mm piezoelectric material to produce a total volume of 154 10^-12 cm^3. The power output is measured at 174.1 W of power when positioned over top a 10 AWG copper conductor a distance of 6 mm with approximately 16 Amps of current passing though the conductor.