Development of MEMS-based Piezoelectric Vibration Energy Harvesters

TitleDevelopment of MEMS-based Piezoelectric Vibration Energy Harvesters
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsKasyap, A., A. Phipps, T. Nishida, M. Sheplak, and L. Cattafesta
Conference NameSEC IMAC
Date Published02/2010

In this paper, the development of a first generation MEMS-based piezoelectric energy harvester capable of converting ambient vibrations into storable electrical energy is presented. The energy harvester is designed using a validated analytical electromechanical Lumped Element Model (LEM) that accurately predicts the behavior of a piezoelectric composite structure. The MEMS device is fabricated using standard sol gel PZT and conventional surface and bulk micro processing techniques. It consists of a piezoelectric composite cantilever beam (Si/SiO2/Ti/Pt/PZT/Pt/Au) with a proof mass at one end. A prototype device packaged in a 5 mm2 area produces 0.98 ?W rms power into an optimal resistive load when excited with an acceleration of 1 m/s2 at its resonant frequency of 129 Hz. Although the model predicts the general behavior of the device accurately, knowledge of the overall system damping is critical to accurately predict the power output, and therefore individual dissipation mechanisms in the system must be investigated. This effort lays the foundation for future development of MEMS piezoelectric energy harvester arrays as a potential power solution for self sustaining wireless embedded systems. The electromechanical model further enables intelligent and optimal design of these energy harvesters for specific applications minimizing prototype test runs.