Research Papers

Mechanical Energy Harvesting From Road Pavements Under Vehicular Load Using Embedded Piezoelectric Elements

[+] Author and Article Information
Yisheng Chen, Yangyang Zhang, Chunhua Li, Qian Yang, Hongyu Zheng

Department of Civil Engineering,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310058, China

He Zhang

Department of Hydraulic Engineering,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310058, China

Chaofeng Lü

Department of Civil Engineering,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310058, China;
Key Laboratory of Soft Machines and Smart
Devices of Zhejiang Province,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310027, China;
Soft Matter Research Center,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310027, China
e-mail: lucf@zju.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Applied Mechanics Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS. Manuscript received March 25, 2016; final manuscript received April 16, 2016; published online May 11, 2016. Editor: Yonggang Huang.

J. Appl. Mech 83(8), 081001 (May 11, 2016) (7 pages) Paper No: JAM-16-1156; doi: 10.1115/1.4033433 History: Received March 25, 2016; Revised April 16, 2016

Highways consume enormous electric power and therefore contribute to heavy economic costs due to the operation of auxiliary road facilities including lighting, displays, and health-monitoring systems for tunnels and bridges, etc. We here propose a new strategy of electric power supply for highways by harvesting mechanical energy from the reciprocating deformation of road pavements. A series of wheel tracking tests are performed to demonstrate the possibility of using piezoelectric elements to transform the mechanical energy stored in pavements due to vehicular load into electricity. An analytical electromechanical model is developed to predict the correlations between electric outputs and loading conditions in the wheel tracking test. A simple scaling law is derived to show that the normalized output power depends on the normalized loading period, location, and size of the piezoelectric device. The scaling law is further extended to a practical highway application according to the analogy between the wheel tracking test and a highway in an idealized condition of periodic vehicular load. It suggests that the output power may be maximized by tuning the material and geometry of the piezoelectric device under various conditions of speed limit and vehicle spacing. The present results may provide a useful guideline for designing mechanical energy-harvesting systems in various road pavements.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic illustrations of the MEH and the wheel tracking test setup: (a) photograph of the PZT bimorph, (b) cross section illustration of the parallel type PZT bimorph with circuit connections, and (c) photograph and (d) cross section illustration of the wheel tracking test setup with an embedded PZT bimorph

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Fig. 2

Comparisons of the real-time output voltage from the experimental measurements and analytical calculations (T=2.774s): (a) the horizontal illustration of the specimen with the embedded PZT bimorph, (b) Ls=136mm for path 2, (c) Ls=126mm for path 2, (d) Ls=86mm for path 1, (e) Ls=126mm for path 1, and (f) Ls=86mm for path 1

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Fig. 3

Variations of the effective output voltage VRMS and output power P versus (a) the electric resistance R and (b) the thickness hp of individual layer of the PZT bimorph

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Fig. 4

Variations of (a) the normalized output voltage k33LpVRMS/(q0ahpd33) and (b) normalized output power k33LpTP/(q02a2d332bphp) versus the nondimensional distance Ls/L for various nondimensional effective interaction lengths (Lp+a)/L with an experimental value Thp/(bpLpk33R)=8.0

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Fig. 5

Variations of the normalized output voltage k33LpVRMS/(q0ahpd33) and output power k33LpTP/(q02a2d332bphp) versus the nondimensional effective interaction length (Lp+a)/L with experimental values of Ls/L=0.287 and Thp/(bpLpk33R)=8.0

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Dependence of (a) the normalized output voltage k33LpVRMS/(q0ahpd33) and (b) normalized output power k33LpTP/(q02a2d332bphp) on the normalized period Thp/(bpLpk33R) for various nondimensional distance Ls/L ((Lp+a)/L=0.227)

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Fig. 7

The practical road pavement with one MEH device and subject to a queue of periodic vehicles traveling at a same speed v which is analogous to the wheel tracking test in Fig.1(d)

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Fig. 8

Dependence of the normalized output power k33LpdP/(q02a2d332bphpv) on the normalized vehicle speed vbpLpk33R/(dhp) for various vehicle spacing d/D ((Lp+a)/d=0.17)

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Fig. 9

Dependence of the normalized output power k33LpdP/(q02a2d332bphpv) on the normalized vehicle speed vbpLpk33R/(dhp) and normalized safe time Tsafehp/(bpLpk33R) ((Lp+a)/d=0.17)



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