Experimental Vibration Analysis of the Zigzag Structure for Energy Harvesting

Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


The results of the previously developed analytical model for vibrations of a zigzag microstructure is compared with the findings from Rayleigh’s method and experiments. Cantilever type energy harvesters use a substrate to mount a piezoelectric transduction element on. The maximum power output of such device is when the substrate fundamental frequency is near to dominant frequency of ambient vibration insuring a resonance response maximizing the strain into piezoelectric material. The high natural frequencies of the existing designs of MEMS vibrational energy harvesters are due to their short length constraint and present a serious drawback in the development of MEMS scale energy harvesting devices. The zigzag design was proposed by the authors and was proved capable of reducing the natural frequency of the MEMS harvesters. The electromechanical vibrations of the zigzag structures have been analytically modeled. This paper verifies the findings from analytical model by remodeling the structure using Rayleigh’s approach. It also compares the previous model with experimental results. The previous model neglected the mass of the links and that results in a noticeable underestimation of the natural frequencies. After modifying the analytical model and considering the link masses the model and the experiment match.


Energy Harvesting MEMS Continuous Vibrations Zigzag Structure Piezoelectric 


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Copyright information

© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Engineering Science and MechanicsVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.Center for Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, Department of Mechanical EngineeringVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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