Yanbu Journal of Engineering and Science (Feb 2022)

Piezoelectric Transducer as an Energy Harvester: A Review

  • Danah A. Aldahiry,
  • Daniyah A. Bajaba,
  • Nora M. Basalamah,
  • Marwa M. Ahmed

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 19, no. 1


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Over the years, energy harvesting technologies have been used in various self-powered systems. These technologies have several methods of application depending on their usage. Renewable energy is one of the types of energy harvesting technologies where energy is generated from naturally replenished sources. One of the energy harvesting methods that is commonly used is piezoelectric transducers. Piezoelectric materials are groups of elements that can be used to generate electricity when mechanical energy is applied. When external mechanical stress is applied, the inner lattice is deformed, resulting in the separation of the positive and negative centers of the molecule and thus the generation of a small dipole. Therefore, this paper aims to discuss the output of the piezoelectric transducer by reviewing it depending on two different material types and in other energy harvesting structures. Furthermore, a comparison was made in order to compare the power output of the two materials. Similarly, the most used piezoelectric transducer structures for power harvesting applications were revised. In addition, the parameters that affect the value of the generated power output were discussed using the figures of merit (FOM) concept. Moreover, the according to the FOM concepts, when stress is applied, the electrical energy extracted from a piezoelectric energy harvesting material is determined by the change in stored electrical energy within a piezoelectric material. The figures of merit (FOM) depend on the piezoelectric strain and its permittivity. The piezoelectric strain directly relates to FOM, while the permittivity has an inverse relationship with FOM. Thus, the highest strain constant and low permittivity material will provide the highest energy output. Additionally, lead-based (PZT) material has a strain coefficient d33 equal to 390 Coul/Nx10-12, and permittivity value ranging from 1000 to 3500 and can generate power output that is equal to 52mW at 100Hz, which is higher than the output of the lead-free-based material Barium Titanate (BaTiO3). The output of piezoelectric also depends on the piezoelectric transducer's structure. The circular diaphragm's power output is greater than the bimorph cantilever's power output due to the presence of a proof mass in the center of the diaphragm that provides prestress to the piezoelectric which improves the low-frequency performance of the energy harvester.