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Low Cost and Piezoelectric based Soft Wave Energy Harvester

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 January 2019

Sina Baghbani Kordmahale*
Affiliation:
Department of Electrical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA.
Jitae Do
Affiliation:
Department of Ocean Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA. Department of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA.
Kuang-An Chang
Affiliation:
Department of Ocean Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA. Department of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA.
Jun Kameoka
Affiliation:
Department of Electrical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA.
*
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Abstract:

Wave energy converters have been developed and commercialized in past decades; they have now faced numerous challenges of large volume sizes, environmental hazards, and high costs of deployment, components and maintenance. To address these challenges and make a wave energy converter practically available for various applications at a reasonable cost, we have developed a soft wave energy harvester that integrated low-cost soft material structures and piezoelectric-based Macro Fiber Composite (MFC). This integrated soft wave energy converter has a straightforward fabrication process and structure that can harvest energy from a broad working frequency of waves. The innovative design combined low-cost and commercially available materials and formed a harvester that addressed the aforementioned problems of commercially available harvesters. Additionally, the low cost and simple design are scalable for large energy conversion in the future. The energy conversion performance of the proposed platform has been investigated in a wave flume with low-frequency incoming waves (<2Hz). The soft energy conversion platform is hung like a curtain and produces a maximum 487nW. Also, the low cost and durable encapsulation can protect the electrical properties of MFCs and circuits, and a single harvester can last through all experiment steps without any degradation, which was more than 170 hours.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2019 

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