Table of Contents
Smart Materials Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 621364, 8 pages
Research Article

Preliminary Study of Optimum Piezoelectric Cross-Ply Composites for Energy Harvesting

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK

Received 24 November 2011; Accepted 29 January 2012

Academic Editor: Sontipee Aimmanee

Copyright © 2012 David N. Betts et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Energy harvesting devices based on a piezoelectric material attached to asymmetric bistable laminate plates have been shown to exhibit high levels of power extraction over a wide range of frequencies. This paper optimizes for the design of bistable composites combined with piezoelectrics for energy harvesting applications. The electrical energy generated during state-change, or “snap-through,” is maximized through variation in ply thicknesses and rectangular laminate edge lengths. The design is constrained by a bistability constraint and limits on both the magnitude of deflection and the force required for the reversible actuation. Optimum solutions are obtained for differing numbers of plies and the numerical investigation results are discussed.