Development of a Novel Piezoelectric Harvester Excited by Raindrops

Sensors (Basel). 2019 Aug 22;19(17):3653. doi: 10.3390/s19173653.


The impact of raindrops on a dry surface leads to a splashing phenomenon that dissipates a lot of energy. To improve energy collection, a novel piezoelectric raindrop energy harvester equipped with a spoonful of water was developed. The advantages and the drawbacks of this solution were analyzed with the aid of numerical simulations. A series of experimental tests were carried out in a laboratory with simulated raindrops. Experimental results showed that the negative effect of the added water mass was exceeded by the positive effects related to the impact of the raindrop on a liquid surface. Tests carried out connecting the harvester to a resistive load showed that the prototype was able to collect more energy than a simple cantilever harvester.

Keywords: impulse vibrations; piezoelectric; raindrop energy harvester.