The AC Power Cell contains microGen’s AC Power Generator on a break outboard for easy mounting and connections. The microGen AC Power Generator is a MEMS-based piezoelectric vibration energy harvester that utilizes a cantilever design. Sources of vibration cause the cantilever to flex, creating a time-modulated strain in the piezoelectric material, and resulting time modulated generation of charge. This charge can be extracted as an alternating current (AC) output voltage. The breakout board has resistors and connections which give the user configurability of the device and easy connection to microGen’s Power Management AC to DC conversion boards (not included).
The microGen AC Power Generators are high-Q resonantors with a fixed natural resonant frequency. They can be excited to generate power in two different ways:
In Resonant Mode operation, the Power Generator couples directly with a fixed frequency vibration source from the environment that matches the Power Generator resonant frequency. Resonant movement of the cantilever allows a significant amount of power to be generated at fairly low g-levels.
In Impulse Mode operation, the Power Generator reacts to an impact event from the environment, and rings down at its natural frequency, much like a tuning fork or a violin string. If the impacts occur at semi-regular intervals, power is generated. The benefit of Impulse Mode operation is that the harvester does not need to be tuned to a particular frequency. However, the amount of power produced is sensitive to the maximum g-level and shape (FWHM) of the input pulse.
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