Multiphysics finite element model of a frequency-amplifying piezoelectric energy harvester with impact coupling for low-frequency vibrations
This paper presents experimentally-verified multiphysics finite element model of a wideband vibration energy harvester with impact coupling, which operates on the principle of frequency up-conversion: under low-frequency harmonic base excitation a cantilever-type resonator (with resonant frequency of 18.8 Hz) impacts a high-frequency piezoelectric cantilever, which starts freely vibrate at its resonant frequency of 374 Hz. Such input frequency amplification enables efficient power generation under low-frequency ambient excitations. The model was implemented in COMSOL and the contact between the cantilevers was formulated by using a nonlinear viscoelastic model. Reported results of dynamical and electrical testing of the fabricated vibration energy harvester confirm the accuracy of the model as well as reveal some operational characteristics of the device under varying impact and excitation conditions.