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Analysis of electrical energy harvesting using a piezoelectric laminated belleville springs

Dr Sontipee Aimmanee, Assistant Professor, King Mongkut’s University of Technology

Abstract

Energy harvesting is a process of transforming environmental unused energy to beneficial electrical energy. This research presents a study of a novel energy harvester from smart Belleville spring composed of composite and piezoelectric materials. The electrical energy can be generated by employing piezoelectric effect in the piezoelectric elements bonded on or embedded in the spring. Mathematical models are developed to calculate the spring characteristics when a mechanical force/energy is applied, such as deflection, stresses, and strains. In addition, electromechanical performance, i.e. amount of electrical energy can be predicted under quasistatic analysis. The study focuses on the variables involving the snap-through buckling of the composite spring, which the behavior is a key mechanism to enhance the harvested electrical energy. Furthermore, an optimal condition of piezoelectric element installation for example, their location, amounts, and sizes of the piezoelectric patches has been analyzed. Results showed geometries of spring effect to energy generated, while the most effective area of piezoelectric patches is area around the inner circumference of springs from the stress most occurring. The final outcomes lead to the design guideline of smart composite Belleville springs under various applications, for example, their utilizations as a speed bump to collect energy from moving vehicles.

Bio

Sontipee Aimmanee received his Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering (First Class Honors, Gold Medal for 1st Rank GPA in college of engineering) in 1996 from King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Thailand, and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2000 from University of Delaware, USA, and Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics in 2004 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA.  Currently, he is an Assistant Professor at Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Thailand.  His research interests include mechanics of composite materials, sandwich structures, lightweight design, bio-inspired materials, structronics, and finite-element methods. He has won many awards, such as American Society for Composite Ph.D. Research Scholarship, Manuel Stein Endowed Scholarship, Thailand Toray Science Foundation Grant, several best and outstanding paper awards in several international conferences, NI Engineering Impact Awards ASEAN Regional Contest (Energy Award), and Endeavour Executive Fellowship.