Issues in mathematical modeling of piezoelectric energy harvesters

A Erturk, DJ Inman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

428 Citations (Scopus)


The idea of vibration-to-electric energy conversion for powering small electronic components by using the ambient vibration energy has been investigated by researchers from different disciplines in the last decade. Among the possible transduction mechanisms, piezoelectric transduction has received the most attention for converting ambient vibrations to useful electrical energy. In the last five years, there have been a considerable number of publications using various models for the electromechanical behavior of piezoelectric energy harvester beams. The models used in the literature range from elementary single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) models to approximate distributed parameter models as well as analytical distributed parameter solution attempts. Because of the diverse nature of researchers working in energy harvesting (including electrical, mechanical and materials engineers), several oversimplified and incorrect physical assumptions have been propagated in the literature. Issues of the correct formulation for piezoelectric coupling, correct physical modeling, use of low fidelity models, incorrect base motion modeling, and the use of static expressions in a fundamentally dynamic problem are discussed and clarified here. These common indiscretions, which have been repeated in the existing piezoelectric energy harvesting literature, are addressed and clarified with improved models, and examples are provided. This paper aims to provide corrections and necessary clarifications for researchers from different engineering disciplines interested in electromechanical modeling of piezoelectric energy harvesters.
Translated title of the contributionIssues in mathematical modeling of piezoelectric energy harvesters
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)065016 - 065030
Number of pages14
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


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