A common configuration for a piezoelectric vibration energy harvester is the cantilevered beam with the piezoelectric device located near the beam root to maximize energy transduction. The beam curvature in this configuration is monotonically decreasing from root to tip, so the transduction per unit length of piezoelectric material decreases with increasing patch length. As an alternative to such conventional configuration, this paper proposes a so-called inertial four-point loading for beam-like structures. The effects of support location and tip mass on the beam curvature shapes are analyzed for four-point loaded cases to demonstrate the effect of these configurations on the total strain induced on the piezoelectric patch. These configurations are tested experimentally using several different support locations and compared with results from a baseline cantilevered beam. Performance comparisons of their power ratios are made, which indicate improvement in the transduction per unit strain of the four-point loading cases over the cantilevered configuration. The paper concludes with a discussion of potential applications of the inertial four-point loaded configuration.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.