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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Project Background

Electrical power is a very important and essential aspect of any


nation or economy, a nation that has enough electric power to serve
the nation always progress, as it is directly proportional to the rate of
industrialization in any nation.
Despite the importance of electrical power to a nation, the cost of
achieving adequate and sustainable power in the economy is
expensive. So this arises the need of developing new ways in which
electrical energy can be effectively harnessed with a reduce cost and
less pollution to the environment. since the usual ways of power
generation has become increasingly expensive and causing depletion
of the ozone layer.
This need has led to the development of piezoelectric elements
through which energy can be harvested.
Energy harvesting has been a topic of discussion and research since
three decades. With the ever increasing and demanding energy
needs, unearthing and exploiting more and more energy sources has
become a need of the day. Energy harvesting is the process by which
energy is derived from external sources and utilized to drive the
machines directly, or the energy is captured and stored for future use.
With the advent of technology, utilization of energy sources has
increased by leaps and bounds. Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting is a
new and innovative step in the direction of energy harvesting. Not
many researches have been carried out till now in this field, hence it
is a challenging job to extract energy from piezo-crystals. In this
research paper, description of the basic working of a piezoelectric
crystal and how they are used to generate electricity in a
phenomenon known as piezoelectric effect is mentioned.
Piezoelectric effect is the ability of certain materials (notable
crystals and certain ceramics) to generate an electric charge in
response to applied mechanical stress. The piezoelectric crystals
exhibit the piezoelectric effect. This effect having two properties. First
one is the direct piezoelectric effect, which means that the material
has ability to convert mechanical strain into electrical charge. Second
one is the converse effect, in which the applied electrical potential is
converted into mechanical strain energy.
In this project, we are using direct piezoelectric effect to generate
electricity.
1.2 Problem statement

Electricity is a major problem in most developing nations, this


project can help to reduce the cost and over dependence on the
electric power supply from the national grid, if power from
piezoelectric materials can be harvested in large quantities.
This generator can be installed in not only rural areas but also in
urban areas, considering the fact that the fuel required for generating
this electricity is purely dependent on mechanical pressure from
human footstep, the piezoelectric sensor of the generator can be
placed in areas with large concentration of people walking about, this
enables the battery of the generator to be continuously charged,
thereby producing continuous power supply.

1.3. Description of the project

A piezoelectric material is made up of both positively and


negatively charged particles arranged in such a way that all the
positively-charged particles and all the negatively-charged particles
are grouped about the same central point. If two opposite faces of a
crystal are placed under pressure, the crystal can be slightly flattened
and distorted, and the charged particles making up the crystals are
pushed together and spread out sideways. The change is such that
the average position of the negatively-charged particles shifts slightly
with respect to the average position of the positively-charged
particles. This means there is, in effect, a separation of positive and
negative charges and a potential difference is therefore created
between two faces of the crystal causing the Output voltage and
power which is directly proportional to the pressure applied or in other
words the weight of the person walking on it and the time the person
is standing on it.
The output voltage obtained from a single piezoelectric crystal is in
millivolts range, which is different for different crystals. And the
wattage is in microwatt range. So in order to achieve higher voltages,
the piezoelectric crystals can be arranged in cascading manner, that
is, in series. The energy thus obtained is stored in lithium batteries or
capacitors.

A SIMPLE FOOTSTEP ELECTRICITY GENERATION CIRCUIT DIAGRAM


In the diagram above, the piezoelectric sensor is made of quartz, it
converts the mechanical stress into electrical charge, the output of the
piezoelectric sensor in AC, therefore a bridge rectifier is used to convert it
into DC. The output of the rectifier is connected across a capacitor (it could
also be a lithium ion battery). The voltage generated by the piezoelectric
sensor gets stored in the capacitor or battery. And when the switch is
turned on the LED bulb will glow indicating that current is flowing in the
circuit.

We can generate more electrical energy by connecting more


piezoelectric sensors in series and also increase the energy stored in the
capacitor or battery by connecting a capacitor with higher rating.

1.4 Expected Result


A non-conventional, non-polluting form of energy can be harvested,
maintaining the economic standards of the middle class. The electricity is
produced from the mechanical stress on the crystals due to piezoelectric
effect and thus it generates the energy needed for charging battery to light
streetlights at night, to charge phones, laptops etc.