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Title: Power electronic interfaces for piezoelectric energy harvesters
Author: Elliott, Alwyn David Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 6323
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2015
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Motion-driven energy harvesters can replace batteries in low power wireless sensors, however selection of the optimal type of transducer for a given situation is difficult as the performance of the complete system must be taken into account in the optimisation. In this thesis, a complete piezoelectric energy harvester system model including a piezoelectric transducer, a power conditioning circuit, and a battery, is presented allowing for the first time a complete optimisation of such a system to be performed. Combined with previous work on modelling an electrostatic energy harvesting system, a comparison of the two transduction methods was performed. The results at 100 Hz indicate that for small MEMS devices at low accelerations, electrostatic harvesting systems outperform piezoelectric but the opposite is true as the size and acceleration increases. Thus the transducer type which achieves the best power density in an energy harvesting system for a given size, acceleration and operating frequency can be chosen. For resonant vibrational energy harvesting, piezoelectric transducers have received a lot of attention due to their MEMS manufacturing compatibility with research focused on the transduction method but less attention has been paid to the output power electronics. Detailed design considerations for a piezoelectric harvester interface circuit, known as single-supply pre-biasing (SSPB), are developed which experimentally demonstrate the circuit outperforming the next best known interface's theoretical limit. A new mode of operation for the SSPB circuit is developed which improves the power generation performance when the piezoelectric material properties have degraded. A solution for tracking the maximum power point as the excitation changes is also presented.
Supervisor: Mitcheson, Paul Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available