Modelling the effect of actuator-like behavior in dielectric elastomer generators

Plinio Rodrigues De Oliveira Zanini, Jonathan Rossiter, Martin Homer

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

11 Citations (Scopus)
355 Downloads (Pure)


Dielectric Elastomer Generators (DEGs) have been claimed as one promising technology for renewable mechanical to electrical energy harvesting, due to their lightweight, low cost and high energy density. Dielectric elastomers have a dual behavior, able to convert electrical energy into mechanical if charged electrostatically and to convert mechanical to electrical energy if stretched and relaxed in a cycle that exploits its capacitance change. During such energy harvesting cycles, the material needs an electrical energy bias to be able to convert mechanical work into electrical energy, which produces an actuator behavior on the DEG that results in losses and decreases its performance. In this paper, we investigate this actuation behavior and its effect on energy harvesting in DEGs. We compare two different charging methods and show that a constant voltage method can increase the net energy harvested by 5 times, despite the unwanted actuation effect.
Original languageEnglish
Article number153906
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number15
Early online date14 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

Structured keywords

  • Tactile Action Perception


  • Mechanical energy
  • Viscosity
  • Capacitance
  • Electric fields
  • Dielectric thin films

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