Numerical Analysis of Signal Response Characteristic of Piezoelectric Energy Harvesters Embedded in Pavement
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Piezoelectric pavement energy harvesting is a technological approach to transform mechanical energy into electrical energy. When a piezoelectric energy harvester (PEH) is embedded in asphalt pavements or concrete pavements, it is subjected to traffic loads and generates electricity. The wander of the tire load and the positioning of the PEH affect the power generation; however, they were seldom comprehensively investigated until now. In this paper, a numerical study on the influence of embedding depth of the PEH and the horizontal distance between a tire load and the PEH on piezoelectric power generation is presented. The result shows that the relative position between the PEH and the load influences the voltage magnitude, and different modes of stress state change voltage polarity. Two mathematic correlations between the embedding depth, the horizontal distance, and the generated voltage were fitted based on the computational results. This study can be used to estimate the power generation efficiency, and thus offer basic information for further development to improve the practical design of PEHs in an asphalt pavement.