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1 April 2015 Multiphysics modeling and design of Galfenol-based unimorph harvesters
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Iron-gallium alloys, known as Galfenol, are a class of magnetostrictive materials that convert mechanical energy to magnetic energy and vice versa. Galfenol devices especially unimorph consisting of a Galfenol beam bonded to a passive substrate, have great potential in energy harvesting applications, but advanced multiphysics models are lacking for these smart devices. This study presents a comprehensive finite element model for Galfenol unimorph harvesters which incorporates magnetic, mechanical, and electrical dynamics. Experiments considering impulsive tip excitations under purely resistive or resistive-capacitive electrical loads are conducted to validate the proposed model. The energy conversion efficiency and peak power density of a unimorph beam with a natural frequency of 139.5 Hz are analyzed experimentally. The maximum energy conversion efficiency is 5.93% when a 74 Ω resistor and a 2 μF capacitor are connected in parallel to the pickup coil in parallel. The maximum power density observed in experiments is 10.72 mW/cm3 when load resistance is 74 Ω. This performance may be optimized in the future utilizing the proposed finite element model.
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Zhangxian Deng and Marcelo J. Dapino "Multiphysics modeling and design of Galfenol-based unimorph harvesters", Proc. SPIE 9433, Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2015, 94330B (1 April 2015);

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