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An Integrated Testing Solution for Piezoelectric Sensors and Energy Harvesting Devices

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With the fast growth of wireless communications between nodes and sensor units and the increase of devices installed in remote places, and the development of IIoT applications, new requirements for power energy supply are needed to assure device functionality and data communication capabilities during extended periods of time. For these applications, energy harvesting takes place as a good solution to increase the autonomy of remote measuring solutions, since the usage of conventional power supply solutions has clear limitations in terms of equipment access and increased maintenance costs. In this context, regenerative energy sources such as thermoelectric, magnetic and piezoelectric based, as well as renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic and wind based, among others, make the development of different powering solutions for remote sensing units possible. The main purpose of this paper is to present a flexible testing platform to characterize piezoelectric devices and to evaluate their performance in terms of harvesting energy. The power harvesting solutions are focused on converting the energy from mechanical vibrations, provided by different types of equipment and mechanical structures, to electrical energy. This study is carried out taking into account the power supply capabilities of piezoelectric devices as a function of the amplitude, frequency and spectral contents of the vibration stimulus. Several experimental results using, as an example, a specific piezoelectric module, are included in the paper.

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Sujets de la revue:
Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Control Engineering, Metrology and Testing