Charge generation to DC output

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by ultradimensional, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. ultradimensional

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 8, 2012
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    0
    Greetings Earthlings!

    I am new to this forum but very pleased to see the level of involvement from the users, so I would like to see if I could get any input or assistance on something.

    I have been working on a project for about a year now, and I've been using a charge conditioning board that I purchased from a company but it's not nearly optimized for my application.

    What I am doing is taking raw charge generated from a piezoelectric patch and converting it to usable DC power, then storing it in a supercap. I am sorely disappointed with the efficiency of the purchased converter PCB and I know it's relatively simple to accomplish.

    The PCB I have is encased in epoxy, and if it werent so overpriced I'd just destroy it and get the layout - but that's silly.

    The piezoelectric patch produces raw charge, similar to AC but not really, which can be collected from two electrodes. I know that the PCB takes an input from the electrodes which is then ran through a rectifier. The manufacturer "claims" that there is also a microcontroller that matches the electrical impedance swings caused by non-resonant or inconsistent magnitudes of charge generation. Whether or not this is necessary, I don't know since I come from a mechanical/material engineering background. However, I am not opposed to attempting a rectification design twice, one with and one without a microcontroller for impedance matching. Im not sure if halfwave or fullwave will be appropriate, but I am outputting the load across a resistor bank for purposes of demonstrating power generation - eventually I would like to store the charge in a supercap but I realize that may be far down the road.

    If anyone would be so gracious as to drop some info on how to tackle this appropriately, or if you'd even like to help with the design, please feel free to get in touch. I can afford to prototype a few versions, and I am savvy enough to work hand in hand if you would like to see this come to life. I anticipate ordering several times from digikey or mouser.

    Thank you in advance for any information, helpful or not, and have a wonderful day. If you need any further clarification, I am ready to provide it (excluding the application for which this power is needed).
     
  2. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,284
    6,797
    Feeble as this is, it's all I have on microscopic energy harvesting.
     
  3. ultradimensional

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 8, 2012
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    0
    Far from feeble my friend! Thank you for these documents, however they are more aptly suited for peltier-seebeck/solar modes of generation since they naturally produce DC and these converters are just voltage boosters. The struggle with piezoelectric generation is that it produces raw charge in a manner more akin to AC, causing a sharp headache for people such as myself. I did one energy harvesting design and prototype using a couple TEGs and a copper film + thermal greases for a bicycle helmet. Worked pretty good! Only downfall was the weight + ugly aesthetics haha.

    Anywho, thank you for the info. I much enjoy increasing my bank of .pdfs and textbook knowledge!
     
  4. ultradimensional

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    4
    0
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