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Finite Element Analysis of Vehicle Load Effect on Harvesting Energy Properties of a Piezoelectric Unit

DOI: 10.4236/epe.2015.710047, PP. 500-508

Keywords: Pavement Vibration, Piezoelectric Harvesting Unit, Positive Piezoelectric Effect, Finite Element Analysis

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Abstract:

To realize the goal of harvesting energy from pavement vibration on a large scale, a new type of piezoelectric harvesting units as the energy transducer has been proposed. The piezoelectric harvesting units are paved 40 mm below the asphalt, which is the same as thickness of the top layer of typical asphalt pavement in China. The spacing distance is 2200 mm, which is the same as the one between two tires of a normal vehicle. A mathematical model of the unit is deduced on Meda empirical formula and Hamilton principle and piezoelectric equations. Effects of the external vehicle load on its harvesting energy properties and pavement deformation and stress are analyzed with the finite element method. The results show that the excited voltage is linearly variation with contact pressure while the harvested electrical energy exponential varies with contact pressure. The more the contact pressure is, the larger the harvested electrical energy and the deformation and stress are. The harvested electrical energy also increases with the load frequency. At least 100 mJ of electrical energy can be collected with the proposed piezoelectric harvesting unit. It shows that the technology application of the piezoelectric harvesting energy from pavement is promising.

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