Harvesting systems capable of transforming dusty environmental energy into electrical energy have aroused considerable interest in the last two decades. Several research works have focused on the transformation of mechanical environmental vibrations into electrical energy. Most of the research activity refers to classic piezoelectric ceramic materials, but more recently piezoelectric polymer materials have been considered. In this paper, a novel point of view regarding harvesting systems is proposed: using ionic polymer metal composites (IPMCs) as generating materials. The goal of this paper is the development of a model able to predict the energy harvesting capabilities of an IPMC material working in air. The model is developed by using the vibration transmission theory of an Euler–Bernoulli cantilever IPMC beam. The IPMC is considered to work in its linear elastic region with a viscous damping contribution ranging from 0.1 to 100 Hz. An identification process based on experimental measurements performed on a Nafion® 117 membrane is used to estimate the material parameters. The model validation shows a good agreement between simulated and experimental results. The model is used to predict the optimal working region and the optimal geometrical parameters for the maximum power generation capacity of a specific membrane. The model takes into account two restrictions. The first is due to the beam theory, which imposes a maximum ratio of 0.5 between the cantilever width and length. The second restriction is to force the cantilever to oscillate with a specific strain; in this paper a 0.3% strain is considered. By considering these two assumptions as constraints on the model, it is seen that IPMC materials could be used as low-power generators in a low-frequency region. The optimal dimensions for the Nafion® 117 membrane are length = 12 cm and width = 6.2 cm, and the electric power generation is 3 nW at a vibrating frequency of 7.09 rad s−1. IPMC materials can sustain big yield strains, so by increasing the strain allowed on the material the power will increase dramatically, the expected values being up to a few microwatts.
|Titolo:||Characterization of the harvesting capabilities of an ionic polymer metal composite device|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2008|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|