Interest on Dielectric ElectroActive Polymer (DEAP) generators has aroused among scientists in recent years, due to the former ones' documented advantages against competing electromagnetic and field-activated technologies. Yet, the need for bidirectional energy flow under high step-up and high step-down voltage conversion ratios, accompanied by low-average but relatively high-peak currents, imposes great challenges on the design of the employed power electronic converter. On top of that, the shortage of commercially-available, high-efficient, high-voltage, low-power semiconductor devices limits the effective operational range of the power electronic converter. In this paper, a bidirectional tapped-inductor buck-boost converter is proposed, addressing high-efficient high step-up and high step-down voltage conversion ratios, for energy harvesting applications based on DEAP generators. The effective operational range of the converter is extended, by replacing its high-side switch with a string of three serialized MOSFETs, to accommodate the need for high-efficient high-voltage operation. Experiments conducted on a single DEAP generator - part of a quadruple DEAP generator energy harvesting system with all elements installed sequentially in the same circular disk with a 90 phase shift - validate the applicability of the proposed converter, demonstrating energy harvesting of 0.26 J, at 0.5 Hz and 60 % delta-strain; characterized by an energy density of 1.25 J per kg of active material.
Proceedings of the Spie Smart Structures and Materials / Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (eapad) Xvi, 2014, p. 1-11
DEAP; Eielectric electroactive polymer; Power electronic converter; Energy gain; Energy harvesting; Energy harvesting eciency,; Energy conversion eciency
SPIE Smart Structures and Materials, 2014
SPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering