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Analytical and finite-element study of optimal strain distribution in various beam shapes for energy harvesting applications

Ooi, B. L.; Gilbert, J. M.; Aziz, A. Rashid A.


B. L. Ooi

A. Rashid A. Aziz


Due to the increasing demand for harvesting energy from environmental vibration, for use in self-powered electronic applications, cantilever-based vibration energy harvesting has attracted great interest from various parties and become one of the most common approaches to convert redundant mechanical energy into electrical energy. As the output voltage produces from a piezoelectric material depends greatly on the geometric shape and the size of the beam, there is a need to model and compare the performance of cantilever beams of differing geometries. This paper presents the study of strain distribution in various shapes of cantilever beams, including a convex and concave edge profile elliptical beams that have been overseen in most of the prior literature. Both analytical and finite element models are derived and the resultant strain distributions in the beam are computed based on MATLAB solver and ANSYS finite element analysis tools. An optimum geometry for a vibration-based energy harvester system is verified. Lastly, experimental results comparing the power density for a triangular and rectangular piezoelectric beams are also presented to validate the finding of the study and the claim as suggested in the literature is verified.


Ooi, B. L., Gilbert, J. M., & Aziz, A. R. A. (2016). Analytical and finite-element study of optimal strain distribution in various beam shapes for energy harvesting applications. Acta Mechanica Sinica, 32(4), 670-683.

Acceptance Date Jan 4, 2016
Online Publication Date May 9, 2016
Publication Date Aug 1, 2016
Deposit Date Feb 24, 2016
Publicly Available Date May 9, 2016
Journal Acta mechanica sinica
Print ISSN 0567-7718
Electronic ISSN 1614-3116
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 4
Pages 670-683
Keywords Variable geometry beam; Elliptical beam shape; Vibration-based energy harvesting; Strain distribution
Public URL
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Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article published in: Acta mechanica sinica, 2016, v.32, issue 4. The final publication is available at Springer via


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