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Wireless Electromechanical Power Transfer Using Piezoelectric Materials

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[Technical Report, Research Paper]

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In military applications, as well as civilian applications, the use of piezoelectric materials instead of wires allows for reduced mass in power transfer, which is especially applicable to systems designed for flight andor for orbit. This research has focused on optimizing the location and size of a system of piezoelectric actuators used to transfer electrical power via transduction from electrical voltage to mechanical vibrations and back to electrical voltage. The research project developed models of the system of interest using COMSOL Multiphysics toconsider solid mechanics, viscoelasticity, piezoelectricity, electrostatics, electrical circuits and by introducing structural acoustic coupling. The accuracy of the computational model was validated by comparison with published experimental results for existing hardware. The COMSOL model was used in a computational parametric study of electrical transfer efficiency versus the mechanical and geometric parameters for a single piezoelectric transmitterreceiver pair, where the electrical transfer efficiency is defined as the ratio of the power output to the power input. Through the results of this parametric study, guidelines as to what configurations are responsive and unresponsive for a given excitation frequency were developed. These results led to the novel investigation of the single transmittermultiple receiver array used to selectively excite a target receiver with a single transmitter.

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[A, Approved For Public Release]