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/content/aip/journal/apl/107/15/10.1063/1.4933315
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/content/aip/journal/apl/107/15/10.1063/1.4933315
2015-10-14
2016-10-01

Abstract

Dielectric Elastomer Generators (DEGs) have been claimed as one promising technology for renewable mechanical to electrical energy harvesting, due to their lightweight, low cost, and high energy density. Dielectric elastomers have a dual behavior, able to convert electrical energy into mechanical if charged electrostatically and to convert mechanical to electrical energy if stretched and relaxed in a cycle that exploits its capacitance change. During such energy harvesting cycles, the material needs an electrical energy bias to be able to convert mechanical work into electrical energy, which produces an actuator behavior on the DEG that results in losses and decreases its performance. In this paper, we investigate this actuation behavior and its effect on energy harvesting in the DEGs. We compare two different charging methods and show that a constant voltage method can increase the net energy harvested by 5 times, despite the unwanted actuation effect.

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