The conversion efficiency of piezoelectric energy harvesters (EH) have been improved by several approaches including frequency up-conversion (FUC) techniques that trigger the high-frequency (HF) piezoelectric resonators using low-frequency (LF) mechanical inputs. This work proposes a new time-domain multiplexing technique to further improve the harvesting efficiency for random mechanical impacts using commercially available microfabrication processes. The FUC is implemented by a slowly moving shuttle beam, which represents the LF mechanical inputs, that triggers the free ends of piezoelectric cantilever beams. Mechanical impacts by the LF shuttle lead to the cantilever beams vibrating at their higher natural resonance frequencies. In the proposed approach, resonators are exposed to the LF mechanical input at unequal distances, which results in sequential HF vibrations. As a result, the HF electrical outputs fit sequentially within the long period of the LF input. Analytical and experimental comparisons support the increased electrical output using time domain multiplexing.
- frequency up-converter
- micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS)
- Piezoelectric energy harvester