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Thickness Optimization of a Piezoelectric Converter for Energy Harvesting

M. Guizzetti[1], V. Ferrari[1], D. Marioli[1], and T. Zawada[2]

[1]Dept. of Electronics for Automation, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy
[2]Meggitt, Ferroperm Piezoceramics A/S, Kvistgaard, Denmark

The conversion of mechanical energy from environmental vibrations into electrical energy is a key point for powering sensor nodes toward the development of autonomous sensor systems. Piezoelectric energy converters realized in a cantilever configuration are the most studied for this purpose. In order to improve the performances of the converter, the geometry has to be properly designed. In this context FEM simulations have been used in order to optimize the piezoelectric layer thickness. A parametrized geometry was created by means of the Moving Mesh (ALE) application mode. The electrical energy generated by the converter under an applied acceleration was computed, finding the optimal thickness for the piezoelectric layer. Different geometries were considered verifying that they do not affect the optimal thickness.