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Energy Harvesting Using Arrays of Granular Chains and Solid Rods



In the last two decades it has been demonstrated that highly nonlinear solitary waves (HNSWs) propagating in chains of granular particles can be used in many physics and engineering applications, including acoustic lenses, impurity detectors, and nondestructive testing. HNSWs are compact nondispersive waves that propagate in nonlinear medium such as 1D chains of spherical particles. In this paper we propose to couple an array supporting the propagation of HNSWs to a wafer-type lead zirconate titanate (PZT) transducer to harvest energy from the vibration of an object tapping the array. The array of granular chains is in contact with a polycarbonate block, where the nonlinear waves become linear and coalesce at a designed focal point. Here, the PZT converts the acoustic energy into electricity to power a load resistor. The performance of this harvester is compared to a similar system where the chains of particles are replaced by solid rods, and the results demonstrate that the granular system generates more electricity.

doi: 10.12783/SHM2015/121

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