Energy Scavenging / Harvesting:
Improved vibrational energy scavenging:
Controlling the internal nanostructure for increased power output
Vibration energy harvesting is a promising technology for powering wireless sensor network nodes for use in applications such as environmental monitoring, energy efficiency monitoring, manufacturing process control, & medical devices. Realization of these networks for wide-spread market use requires that the sensor nodes be low-cost, non-intrusive, & maintenance-free. A MEMS (micro electromechanical system) energy harvester addresses these needs by converting environmental mechanical vibrations into electrical energy via a piezoelectric thin film active layer, providing a replenishable source of power for the sensor node and rendering it maintenance-free. A MEMS energy harvester also simultaneously reduces the volume occupied by the power generator & the amount of raw materials required, resulting in aesthetic improvements and cost reductions.
For information on designing for energy scavenging click here.
Project Overview, Device Fabrication, Operating Principle, Definitions
Figure 1: Schematic of piezoelectric vibrational energy scavenger. An applied force deflects the cantilever, generating charge across the ferroelectric film [blue]. This charge can then flow to power a device or
charge a battery.