Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science ( IF 1.386 ) Pub Date : 2019-09-04 , DOI: 10.1177/0954406219873366 Erfan Hamsayeh Abbasi Niasar; Masoud Dahmardeh; Hamed Saeidi Googarchin
Piezoelectric energy harvesting is an efficient technique among energy scavenging methods employed in asphalt pavements. Several designs are reported in the literature; however, what is less discussed is how to design the harvester. In this paper, a fixed volume of piezoelectric material is considered, and various design parameters are discussed in order to achieve an improved design. The main objective is to enhance the harvester performance, considering electrical and mechanical aspects, simultaneously. The output power, the level of induced stress on the piezoelectric material, the endurance limit, and the coupling effect of the device with the pavement are considered. As a case study, the finite element model of a piezoelectric harvester is developed and validated with the experimental results. A parametric study is then carried out in order to improve both the electrical and mechanical characteristics of the device. Various parameters, such as piezoelectric disks cross-section, piezoelectric material, as well as the disks aspect ratio are considered. The proposed structures are compared with similar ones reported in the literature and show higher output powers of 3 − 5.8 times. A case study is presented to show the signal conditioning process of the harvested power for practical applications. Improvements in various aspects of the device performance, while considering the economic aspects, i.e., the amount of consumed piezoelectric material, show the effectiveness of the proposed method.