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Energy Harvesting

PiezoMEMS Energy Harvesting

 

AIN-MEMS Vibration Energy Harvester
AIN-MEMS Vibration Energy Harvester.

Energy Harvesting is a continuously expanding market and the demand for MEMS based energy harvesting is increasing due to the Internet of Things. Given the estimated growth of the IoT, systems will need to have self sustained power as replacing batteries will be expensive and labour intensive process. The PiezoMEMS team at Tyndall has extensive experience in developing vibration energy harvesting devices, which use piezoelectric materials as the active layer.

 

Displaced PiezoMEMS Energy Harvester during operation
Displaced PiezoMEMS Energy Harvester during operation.

Tyndall works primarily with CMOS compatible Aluminium Nitride, which has excellent power harvesting capabilities. The material can be easily integrated into standard MEMS fabrication process. The team has developed state of the art devices that can obtain high power densities. In order to obtain high quality devices the team specializes in i) optimizing the piezoelectric material, ii) optimizing the FEM in order to design the devices for particular application, and iii) optimizing the fabrication process. Reliability of these devices is critical aspect that is often overlooked and the team at Tyndall is currently investigating methods to enhance device performance and to increase device reliability.

 

A Four Cantilever PiezoMEMS Energy Harvester next to an AA Battery
A Four Cantilever PiezoMEMS Energy Harvester next to an AA Battery.

We have designed energy harvesting devices for a range of applications, consisting of indoor building/equipment vibrations, implantable medical devices, and industrial applications.

Our devices typically operate at low frequency with low acceleration excitation. Our devices have been designed for various vibration sources including ones based on continuous sinusoidal vibrations as well as ones based on impact. In addition we are developing novel methods for ways to tune or widen the bandwidth of a resonating energy harvester, as well as working on methods for creating a universal energy harvester that can be applied to numerous applications.

 

PiezoMEMS Energy Harvesting Power Density throughout the years at Tyndall
PiezoMEMS Energy Harvesting Power Density throughout the years at Tyndall.

We are currently interested in joining collaborations with academics or industrial partners to try and enhance the device performance using various methods.

 

If you would like to know more about our research or if you are interested in collaborating on a project please contact us.

 

 


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