An Investigation of Energy Harvesting Using Electrostrictive Polymers


Owing to their low acoustic impedance, high elastic energy density, and relatively high electromechanical conversion efficiency, the electroactive polymers have begun to show the potential for energy harvesting or mechanical to electrical energy conversion. In addition, due to the electromechanical coupling in these materials the electric and mechanical properties of these polymers will depend on the imposed electrical and mechanical conditions. This paper discusses how to utilizing this unique property to maximum the energy conversion efficiency and the harvested electrical energy density in the electrostrictive polymers. As an example, we demonstrate that when a properly phased and externally applied electric AC field is superimposed on the mechanical cycle, an output electrical energy density of 39mJ/cm3 and mechanical-to-electrical conversion efficiency of about 10% can be obtained from the electrostrictive P(VDF-TrFE) based polymers.

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Correspondence to Kailiang Ren.

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Ren, K., Liu, Y., Hofmann, H. et al. An Investigation of Energy Harvesting Using Electrostrictive Polymers. MRS Online Proceedings Library 889, 105 (2005).

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