Analysis on the energy harvesting cycle of dielectric elastomer generators for performance improvement
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, The University of Western Ontario London, Ontario N6A 5B9, Canada
Received: 11 June 2016
Accepted: 28 July 2016
With attractive features like high energy density and flexibility, dielectric elastomer generators (DEGs) have been designed to harvest mechanical energy from diverse sources. However, their energy harvesting performance could be limited by the material viscoelasticity and various failure modes. Adopting the finite-deformation viscoelasticity model, this work presents a theoretical framework for analyzing the performance of a DEG with a “triangular” harvesting scheme. Simulation results reveal that choosing an appropriate in-plane stretch ratio for the onset of the discharging process can raise the harvested energy of DEGs. It is also found that the energy conversion efficiency of a DEG can be markedly improved by avoiding loss-of-tension of elastomer during the operation of energy harvesting.
PACS: 77.55.-g – Dielectric thin films / 61.41.+e – Polymers, elastomers, and plastics / 77.65.-j – Piezoelectricity and electromechanical effects
© EPLA, 2016