# where: W m = mechanical deformation energy

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1 3 GENERATORS An important application area for is in the conversion of mechanical energy into electrical energy, and this chapter describes the conditions under which should be used to convert the maximum amount of energy. A cylinder can generate voltages that are high enough to draw a spark across an electrode gap [8], [9], and such sparks can be used to ignite combustible gases in for instance cigarette lighters or gas stoves (Fig.3.1). Fig.3.1 The principle of high voltage and spark generation quickly, the electrical field it generates will tend to act against depolarization. The time during which a force is applied has a marked influence on this, static or quasistatic forces tending to depolarize a material faster than dynamic forces of the same magnitude. 3.1 Static loading Open circuit conditions Consider a cylinder of height h, polarized in the axial direction and with electrodes on its end faces. If an axial stress T 3 is applied, it will deform and hence charge will displace toward the electrodes. Under open circuit conditions (D = 0) the voltage U 3 is given by: U3 - - g 33 ht 3 (3.1) A compressive stress (negative sign) will therefore generate a positive voltage across the transducer. To get an idea of the order of magnitude of the voltage to be expected, a 10 mm 5A cube (g33 = 22 x 10-3 Vm/N) subjected to a force of 5 kn will generate a voltage about 11 kv. The total energy WD fed into a element by a mechanical source can be split up as follows: (no losses, open circuit) W D = W m + W e (3.2) where: W m = mechanical deformation energy Moreover, a part of the energy generated by a transducer can be stored in a capacitor and can be used to power a circuit (Fig.3.2). W e = energy stored in the electrical field in the ceramic The latter may be withdrawn from the element as electrical energy. The energy W D can be simply expressed in terms of compliance S D and the mechanical stress T by: in which V is the volume of the element. W e and W m are given in terms of the coupling coefficient k 33 by: Fig.3.2 The principle o f charge generation In these applications, important factors governing performance are the shape of the transducer, the manner in which the transducer is mounted and, of course, the nature of the electrical load. A disk for example, compressed between two metal surfaces will never be able to expand in the radial direction as readily as would a long, thin cylinder, which is only constrained at its ends and assumes a barrel shape on radial expansion. So the way in which the material is mounted will directly affect the energy conversion per unit volume. The general rule therefore is to allow the body some freedom to expand radially since charge generation is directly coupled to deformation. Another important parameter is the impedance of the load circuitry. If the charge is not allowed to flow away These equations show that for given material properties only V and T govern the energy conversion. If, therefore, in a particular application the force that can be applied is limited, the electrical energy generated can be increased by choosing a smaller surface area (equal volume). For example one can use a long thin cylinder instead of a short thick one. With equations A9, A10, A14, A15 (appendix) and 3.1 W e can be expressed as:

2 where ε s 33 and ετ 33 are defined in section 2.7, h is the height of the element, A the surface area and C 0 its capacitance at low frequency. -elements under compressive stress in open circuit conditions do not suffer from depolarisation. The induced field has the same direction as the poling field during polarization and the voltage increases almost linearly with the stress even up to very high load levels Electrically short-circuited systems If a element is compressed while its electrodes are short circuited, charge is generated by linear as well as nonlinear processes. In addition, at very high stress levels depolarisation occurs. The charge density resulting from the linear piezoelectric effect caused by deformation of Weiss domains is determined by: where: Q 3 = total generated charge A = the surface area of the element D 3 = the dielectric charge displacement d 33 = piezoelectric charge constant. The calculated and measured charge displacements are in agreement only at very low voltages. This is due to the nonlinear character of the piezoelectric effect caused by reversible or irreversible displacement of the Weiss domain walls. As a consequence of this, an additional contribution to the charge displacement can occur, causing it to rise more strongly with increasing mechanical load than would be expected from the linear effect. Irreversible displacements cause depolarization and are only permitted in generators designed for one-time use. The occurrence of depolarization can be checked by measuring the charge developed during subsequent load cycles. If the curves match, no depolarization has taken place. For 8(Navy III), for instance, the maximum allowable static stress is 85 x 10 6 Pa under closed circuit conditions. The decrease of the coupling factor k 33 remains below 5%. Measurements made with 5A discs show (Fig.3.3) a maximum achievable charge density of 0.25 C/m 2. The material is then almost completely depolarized. For very thin discs, where radial extension is blocked, about 10 9 Pa Fig.3.3 Charge density on 5A discs as a function of compressive load. The discs (h = 5 to 16 mm) were clamped between two steel plates

3 is needed to reach this condition. In the case of cylinders or cubes, 10 8 Pa is sufficient. These conditions apply for quasi-static as well as dynamic loading. However, for low stress levels there is a marked difference between quasistatic and dynamic loading because depolarization then also depends on the duration over which the load is applied. In the design stage of a -generator it should be established whether the generator is intended to function repeatedly, or once only, yielding the maximum possible energy or charge. Unfortunately the parallel capacitor not only lowers the voltage level but also the available energy as can be seen from Fig.3.5. The reason for this is that the voltage decreases linearly with the total capacitance (Q = UC) whereas the energy is related to the square of the voltage (W = ½ CU 2 ). In the second case, the design should be such that the -element is stressed at 10 8 to 10 9 Pa, statically or dynamically. The transducer will then be drained completely resulting in a charge density of about 0.25 C/m 2 on the electrodes Systems with finite impedance In practical applications, it's important to fully exploit the available energy. Two main applications will be discussed from this point of view: - solid state battery - ignition of gases Application with depolarization In this type of application, the aim is to extract as much energy as possible from the generator which may be depolarized in the process. The maximum energy density that can be achieved ( 1.2 W/cm 3 ) is obtained under open circuit conditions. However, this energy is available for only a very short time because of flashover or dielectric breakdown. The very high voltage levels should be reduced by placing a capacitor in parallel with the generator. This capacitor, when charged, can also serve as a supply for an electronic circuit. For this purpose the circuit of Fig.3.4 can be used. To bring down the voltage to practical levels, the parallel capacitance C p is generally much larger than C 0 of the -element itself. Sometimes not more than 5 V is required for the electronic circuit (e.g. TTL circuitry). In the figure, diode D 1 prevents charge flowing back to the element upon decompression. D 2 protects diode D 1 against high reverse voltages which could occur if the material is not completely depolarized. Fg.3.5 Available energy density as a function of parallel capacitance In the following practical example we shall show how a parallel capacitor affects the available energy. Two 5A discs are stacked and electrically connected in parallel (diameter 16 inn, thickness 0.5 mm). Fig.3 4 generator with diodes and parallel capacitor

4 Applications without depolarization The difference between both results is due to the fact that the graph is based on measured values, whereas the calculation is based on the average value of the generated charge (22 µc/cm 2 ). It's possible to get a reduction of voltage without too much loss of energy by using a stack of thin discs. The capacitance C 0 will then be higher and the generated voltage lower so that a lower parallel capacitance is needed. Applying this new `multilayer technology' to the example quoted above, using comparable material and a layer thickness of 50 µm, we get the following results: charge Q 1 mc open circuit voltage U 600 V capacitance C µf These are already more useful values with the impedance being better matched to the load. A stack of these 50 µm layers with a diameter of 5 mm and a height of 1 mm could charge a parallel capacitor of 1 µf to a voltage of 100 V, which represents an energy of 5 mws and an energy density of around 250 mws/cm 3. The impedance can also be adjusted by means of a transformer (Fig.3.6). However to convert the same amount of electrical energy as in the abovementioned example its dimensions would have to be rather large. Nevertheless, by this method, or by using multilayer technology, practically all of the energy contained in the transducer can be extracted and used. Another important application area for generators is in the ignition of gases in pocket lighters, gas ovens or welding equipment. Of course, for these applications the piezoelectric device is expected to have a long service life, so depolarization is not permitted. A piezoelectric ignition system is far less complex than those using permanent magnets or high-voltage transformers and capacitors. What's more, its volume is much less because the electrical part consists only of one or two cylinders. For the same energy content these occupy almost the same volume as the capacitor alone in a standard electrical ignition system. If a spark gap is connected across the piezoelectric element, flashover will occur as soon as the breakdown voltage of the gap has been reached. Up to the point of flashover, the cylinder behaves as an electrically open system, but during discharge, the system is loaded with the (real) resistance of the conducting spark gap. The electrical energy is released in a very short time (in around 10-7 s). The actual time depends on the cylinder capacitance, the length of the high-tension lead and the resistance of the spark gap. If, as is the case in practice, the cylinder remains connected to the mechanical source, and if the spark is still conductive, the element is effectively short-circuited and so its compliance increases from s D 33 to s E 33 where: which means that the compressive strain of the cylinder can increase further with no increase of stress. This can't occur instantaneously, however. As soon as the spark gap breaks down, acoustic shock waves begin to move in from the ends of the cylinder. Their propagation speed is about 4 mm/ms, so this deformation is complete within a few microseconds. The additional mechanical energy fed into the cylinder by this effect can be converted into extra electrical energy W ea given by In practice the actual value of W ea will depend greatly on the way in which the cylinder is mounted, and on the way the compressive stress is applied. The total energy available for the spark thus amounts where C 0 is the cylinder capacitance at low frequency. The corresponding energy density W tot = W tot /V can be calculated using equation 3.10 to give Fig.3.6 Circuit with transformer to improve energy output

5 3.2 Dynamic loads In the so-called impact ignition system, the element is stressed dynamically with a spring-loaded hammer mechanism. In the simplest case of free impact between a hammer with an area A H and a cylinder with area A C, and assuming that A y and A c are not too different, the maximum mechanical stress can be calculated from: The parallel capacitance needed to bring the voltage down to the desired level can now be of the same order as the generator's own capacitance (C 0 ). The usable energy density reaches interesting levels (Fig.3.9). Ideally the parallel capacitors (C P ) should have. the same value as the generator itself (C0). Under these conditions 28% of the theoretical maximum energy is available at the terminals of the parallel capacitor. When the hammer strikes, a pressure wave is generated in both the cylinder and the hammer. This wave is reflected a number of times, depending on the acoustical properties of the components. Until the flashover at the spark gap occurs, the cylinder behaves as an electrically open system (Section 3.1.1), in which T 3 varies over the length of the cylinder. Equation 3.1, therefore, only applies to differential stretches of the cylinder and the total voltage would have to be obtained by integration over its length. For the design of an igniter, such a complicated calculation is not necessary. If the peak voltage is measured on an electrically open system, this value, inserted in equation 3.10, gives adequate information about the available energy due to linear effects. If additional nonlinear phenomena occur during flashover, the probability of ignition will only be improved. 3.3 Multilayer generators The technique developed to make multilayer capacitors can also be used for piezoelectric ceramics. Thin layers of so called green ceramic are interleaved with silver-palladium electrodes, compacted, cut to size and then sintered. Generators with layers as thin as 20 gm can be produced in this way. (Fig.3.7). With these devices, the large total surface area per unit volume means that the generated charge is high whereas the voltage is rather low (Fig.3.8). These types of generator are ideal for use as a solid state battery for modern electronic circuits. Fig.3.9 Energy density in multilayer generator as a function of load

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