A Study on Interface Circuits for Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting
Abstract: A piezoelectric energy harvesting (PEH) system can harvest electrical energy from ambient vibration energy. In a PEH system, the interface rectifier circuit is critical because it converts AC from the output of piezoelectric harvester to DC that can power the load. Hence, improving the efficiency of the interface circuit can directly increase the efficiency of the entire PEH system; consequently, more power can be harvested. Commonly used interface circuits in PEH systems, such as full-bridge and voltage- doubler rectifiers,lead to relatively simple circuit implementations but they show serious limitations in energy-harvesting efficiency. Several innovative solutions have been reported to improve the efficiency of the interface rectifiers, such as ‘switch-only’ and ‘bias-flip’ techniques . Such solutions utilize additional switches or switched inductors to speed up and even quickly reverse (flip) the voltage on the rectifier input to the desired voltage-level and condition for energy transfer, ultimately improving the overall efficiency of the energy harvesting. However, such techniques rely on accurate timing and synchronization of the pulsed switches every time the current produced by the piezoelectric harvester changes polarity. This thesis studies and investigates the impact of the non-ideal switching effects on the energy efficiency of the switch-only and bias-flip interface rectifiers in a PEH system, by theoretical derivation and experimental simulation.
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