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Simply-supported multi-layered beams for energy harvesting

Patel, Rupesh; Tanaka, Yoshikazu; McWilliam, Stewart; Mutsuda, Hidemi; Popov, Atanas A.


Rupesh Patel

Yoshikazu Tanaka

Hidemi Mutsuda

Atanas A. Popov


This paper develops an analytical model for predicting the performance of simply-supported multi-layered piezoelectric vibrating energy harvesters. The model includes the effects of material and geometric nonlinearities, as well as axial pre-tension/compression, and is validated against experimental devices for a large range of base accelerations. Numerical and experimental investigations are performed to understand the benefits of using simply supported devices compared to cantilevered devices. Comparisons are made in an unbiased manner by tuning the resonant frequency to the same value by modifying the geometry, and the results obtained indicate that simply supported devices are capable of generating higher voltage levels than cantilever devices. The model is also used to investigate the benefits of using multi-layered devices to improve power density. Depending on harvester composition, power-per-unit-volume of piezoelectric material for a device is increased through the stacking of layers.


Patel, R., Tanaka, Y., McWilliam, S., Mutsuda, H., & Popov, A. A. (2017). Simply-supported multi-layered beams for energy harvesting. Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, 28(6),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 20, 2016
Online Publication Date Aug 1, 2016
Publication Date Apr 1, 2017
Deposit Date Sep 14, 2017
Publicly Available Date Sep 14, 2017
Journal Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Print ISSN 1045-389X
Electronic ISSN 1045-389X
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 6
Keywords Energy harvesting materials, Non-linearity, Piezoelectric beam, Multi-layered beam, Axial pre-tension/compression,
Performance optimisation
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