This paper presents a finite element (FE) model developed using commercial FE software COMSOL to simulate the multiphysical process of pieozoelectric vibration energy harvesting (PVEH), involving the dynamic mechanical and electrical behaviours of piezoelectric macro fibre composite (MFC) on carbon fibre composite structures. The integration of MFC enables energy harvesting, sensing and actuation capabilities, with applications found in aerospace, automotive and renewable energy. There is an existing gap in the literature on modelling the dynamic response of PVEH in relation to real-world vibration data. Most simulations were either semi-analytical MATLAB models that are geometry unspecific, or basic FE simulations limited to sinusoidal analysis. However, the use of representative environment vibration data is crucial to predict practical behaviour for industrial development. Piezoelectric device physics involving solid mechanics and electrostatics were combined with electrical circuit defined in this FE model. The structure was dynamically excited by interpolated vibration data files, while orthotropic material properties for MFC and carbon fibre composite were individually defined for accuracy. The simulation results were validated by experiments with <10﹪ deviation, providing confidence for the proposed multiphysical FE model to design and optimise PVEH smart composite structures.
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- Energy harvesting