Piezoelectric energy harvesting

One common use of energy harvesting systems is in those places where the access to conventional sources of energy is difficult due to availability, space constraints, environmental hazards or sealed equipment. This article explores the possibilities of piezoelectrics to extract electrical energy and store it in capacitors to supply power of ultra-low power microprocessors.

The piezoelectric under test is a Lead Zirconate Titanate PZT-5J with reference S128-H5FR-1808YB manufactured by MIDE. The tests I am going to conduct are aimed at a specific application in which the piezo has to extract energy at 100 Hz with an acceleration as low as 2 ms^{-2} or 0.2 g.

From right to left, the setup consists of a signal generator, signal conditioner and amplifier (top), signal amplifier (bottom), oscilloscope and vibrator or shaker with the piezoelectric (behind the oscilloscope).

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