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Water droplet impact energy harvesting with P(VDF-TrFE) piezoelectric cantilevers on stainless steel substrates

Water droplet impact energy harvesting with P(VDF-TrFE) piezoelectric cantilevers on stainless steel substrates
Water droplet impact energy harvesting with P(VDF-TrFE) piezoelectric cantilevers on stainless steel substrates
Harvesting energy from ambient environmental sources using piezoelectric transducers has seen a tremendous amount of interest from the scientific community in recent times. The practicality of energy scavenging technology looks set to see continued relevance, with decreasing power demands of electrical systems, such as wireless sensor networks, allowing such technology to progressively act as an energy source to drive and sustain them independently. In light of this, there is a growing opportunity for piezoelectric materials to prolong, or even replace, battery powered sensor systems positioned in remote or difficult to reach areas. It has been demonstrated that falling water droplets of millimetric-scale diameter can impart forces of over a thousand times their resting weight upon surface impact. As such, the potential for utilising piezoelectric transducers to drive sensor systems, by converting the kinetic impact energy of falling water droplets into useful electrical energy, is investigated. The key parameters that affect the efficiency of energy transfer between incident water droplets and piezoelectric cantilever structures made of stainless steel foil coated with the lead-free piezoelectric material P(VDF-TrFE) are investigated. A peak power output of 28 nJ achieved from the impact of a 5.5 mm diameter droplet upon a single energy harvesting transducer illustrated that, for droplets of diameter 3.1–5.5 mm impacting from heights between 0.5 and 2.0 m, it is desirable to utilise piezoelectric transducer beams of bending stiffness in the range of 0.067–0.134 N m−1 in order to achieve good energy transfer efficiency. Although the active electrode area was constrained in order to maintain consistency between samples, reducing the peak energy output, the achieved results correspond to a 15.9 J m−3 energy density, representing the significant energy transfer efficiency achievable through appropriate transducer mechanical tailoring to the excitation source.
0964-1726
1-11
Jellard, Samuel Christopher Jack
2897d56d-c8aa-4a38-91c9-d5db54c71a90
Pu, Suan-Hui
8b46b970-56fd-4a4e-8688-28668f648f43
Chen, Shuting
41ae8330-2b63-4d16-a865-2d9b1c191f42
Yao, Kui
0c73e572-07b4-47e0-86a4-d21f8c30d908
White, Neil M.
c7be4c26-e419-4e5c-9420-09fc02e2ac9c
Jellard, Samuel Christopher Jack
2897d56d-c8aa-4a38-91c9-d5db54c71a90
Pu, Suan-Hui
8b46b970-56fd-4a4e-8688-28668f648f43
Chen, Shuting
41ae8330-2b63-4d16-a865-2d9b1c191f42
Yao, Kui
0c73e572-07b4-47e0-86a4-d21f8c30d908
White, Neil M.
c7be4c26-e419-4e5c-9420-09fc02e2ac9c

Jellard, Samuel Christopher Jack, Pu, Suan-Hui, Chen, Shuting, Yao, Kui and White, Neil M. (2019) Water droplet impact energy harvesting with P(VDF-TrFE) piezoelectric cantilevers on stainless steel substrates. Smart Materials and Structures, 28 (9), 1-11, [095002]. (doi:10.1088/1361-665X/ab2db2).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Harvesting energy from ambient environmental sources using piezoelectric transducers has seen a tremendous amount of interest from the scientific community in recent times. The practicality of energy scavenging technology looks set to see continued relevance, with decreasing power demands of electrical systems, such as wireless sensor networks, allowing such technology to progressively act as an energy source to drive and sustain them independently. In light of this, there is a growing opportunity for piezoelectric materials to prolong, or even replace, battery powered sensor systems positioned in remote or difficult to reach areas. It has been demonstrated that falling water droplets of millimetric-scale diameter can impart forces of over a thousand times their resting weight upon surface impact. As such, the potential for utilising piezoelectric transducers to drive sensor systems, by converting the kinetic impact energy of falling water droplets into useful electrical energy, is investigated. The key parameters that affect the efficiency of energy transfer between incident water droplets and piezoelectric cantilever structures made of stainless steel foil coated with the lead-free piezoelectric material P(VDF-TrFE) are investigated. A peak power output of 28 nJ achieved from the impact of a 5.5 mm diameter droplet upon a single energy harvesting transducer illustrated that, for droplets of diameter 3.1–5.5 mm impacting from heights between 0.5 and 2.0 m, it is desirable to utilise piezoelectric transducer beams of bending stiffness in the range of 0.067–0.134 N m−1 in order to achieve good energy transfer efficiency. Although the active electrode area was constrained in order to maintain consistency between samples, reducing the peak energy output, the achieved results correspond to a 15.9 J m−3 energy density, representing the significant energy transfer efficiency achievable through appropriate transducer mechanical tailoring to the excitation source.

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Water droplet impact energy harvesting with P(VDF-TrFE) piezoelectric cantilevers on stainless steel substrates - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 28 June 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 29 July 2019
Published date: September 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 433687
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/433687
ISSN: 0964-1726
PURE UUID: 0fae06ad-7482-44eb-b3db-a9a42cba79c8
ORCID for Suan-Hui Pu: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3335-8880
ORCID for Neil M. White: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1532-6452

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Aug 2019 16:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 05:07

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