On the experimental determination of the efficiency of piezoelectric impact-type energy harvesters using a rotational flywheel
This paper demonstrates a novel methodology using a rotational flywheel to determine the energy conversion efficiency of the impact based piezoelectric energy harvesters. The influence of the impact speed and additional proof mass on the efficiency is presented here. In order to convert low frequency mechanical oscillations into usable electrical energy, a piezoelectric harvester is coupled to a rotating gear wheel driven by flywheel. The efficiency is determined from the ratio of the electrical energy generated by the harvester to the mechanical energy dissipated by the flywheel. The experimental results reveal that free vibrations of the harvester after plucking contribute significantly to the efficiency. The efficiency and output energy can be greatly improved by adding a proof mass to the harvester. Under certain conditions, the piezoelectric harvesters have an impact energy conversion efficiency of 1.2%.