Currently, the main scientific activity of the Electrotechnical Laboratory concerns the following two topics:
• modeling of devices based on piezoelectric materials;
• shape optimization of piezoelectric energy harvesters excited by environmental or flow induced vibrations.
With reference to the first topic, the research activity includes the modeling of piezo-material hysteretic nonlinearities through phenomenological and physic based approaches.
Model numerical simulations are carried out by means of Finite Element and Single Degree of Freedom approximations of the devices under investigation.
A new test bench to research the effects of vibration induced harvesting systems has been recently realized and is now operative.
Among other key activities in the lab, research on numerical meta-heuristic optimization is conducted both from a theoretical and practical point of view. Optimization has been widely used in the last few years in the lab as a tool for computer aided engineering, for example for the definition of the best characteristics of the piezo-electric components for energy harvesting.
The laboratory is equipped with measurement tools for experimental validation activities; two Work Stations; tools for generating controlled vibrations on light bending beams (brushless BLDC vibration motor with eccentric rotating masses). A new wind tunel for the experimental tests of fluid structure interaction in energy harvesting applications has been recently acquired.