Thesis: Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting from Train Vibration

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Thesis: Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting from Train Vibrationpiezo energy harvesting train study

It's always exciting when an academic shares their work and knowledge with us... especially when it involves energy harvesting research using one of our packaged piezos.  

I recently received Nazenin Gure's thesis that I wanted to share because it's the most thorough I've seen yet related to piezoelectric energy harvesting.  She did a great job of:

  • Detailing the theoretical background on piezoelectrics
  • Quantifying a real world vibration environment: metro trains
  • Evaluating performance of the harvesters in that environment (both theoretically with ANSYS and experimentally)
  • Designing the most efficient mechanical and electrical configuration to optimize energy harvesting output

Piezoelectric Theoretical Background

The thesis starts off with an overview on energy harvesting and piezoelectricity.  This effort includes the initial discussion on the piezoelectric effect; but it carries this forward and derives all the necessary equations for designing an efficient piezoelectric energy harvesting system.

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Figure 1: The relationship between mechanical and electrical properties of piezoelectric transducers. Source: http://www.nature.com/articles/sdata201553/figures/1

Preliminary Evaluation of Train Vibration Data

One of my favorite parts of her thesis is that she used real world data from an actual suburban metro train in Istanbul, Turkey.

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Figure 2: Real vibration data recorded on metro train in Istanbul, Turkey.

Performance Evaluation of Piezo Harvesters

Nazenin takes the train data and first theoretically computes what the expected energy harvesting potential of piezo energy harvesters will be.  She also proposes a novel two degree-of-freedom energy harvesting design to improve performance.

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Figure 3: Piezo's KIT-009 clamp kit and S230-J1FR-1808XB piezo energy harvester were used to quantify vibration harvesting potential.

Conclusion

Nazenin did a great job in this thesis to bring new insight to the examination of piezoelectric energy harvesting potential.  Piezo's also excited to see what she comes up with using her novel multi degree-of-freedom energy harvesting structure design!  To download the full copy of her thesis please click the following link.  Also don't hesitate to reach out to her via LinkedIn or ResearchGate; and please feel free to contact us at Piezo with any questions!

Download This Free Thesis

Download This Free Thesis (PDF)

For an overview on energy harvesting and piezoelectricity, an initial discussion on the piezoelectric effect and all the necessary equations for designing an efficient piezoelectric energy harvesting system.

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Steve Hanly

Steve is the VP of Product at Mide. He started out at Mide as a Mechanical Engineer in 2010. He enjoys getting his hands "dirty" but mostly prefers...

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