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Piezoelectric energy harvesting from bridge vibrations under moving consecutive masses

M. Karimi, R. Tikani and S. Ziaei-Rad

Modares Mechanical Engineering, Volume 16, Issue 6, June 2016, Pages 108-118



Harvesting energy by piezoelectric materials is nowadays an efficient way for powering low-power electric devices. Required energy for sensors which are used in condition and health monitoring of bridges and other civil infrastructures can be examples of the energy harvesters. This study aimed to improve the piezoelectric-based energy harvesting on civil infrastructures, especially on bridge structures. In this investigation, harvesting energy from the vibrations of a bridge under moving consecutivemasses is studied. Harvesting energy iscarried out through a cantilever beam with piezoelectric patch which is installed atthe middle of a simply supported bridge. Governing equations for vibration of an Euler-Bernoulli beam under moving consecutivemasses arederived. The effects of inertial, centrifugal and coriolis forces areconsidered. For verifying, the results of the numerical solution of the moving mass problem are compared to the experimental tests data of the litterature. The harvester is modelled by a cantilever beam with piezoelectric patch under base excitations which are calculated from vibrations of the bridge mid-point. The obtained equations are then solved in MATLAB environment by using the forth order Runge-Kutta method. The calculated induced voltages are compared with those obtained from experiment. A good degree of accuracy is observed.



A. Energy harvesting; B. Piezoelectric; C. Bridge vibrations; D. Moving consecutive masses


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