Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Karla Mossi


Pyroelectric energy scavenging is the process of converting wasted energy from a system to power another one, based on the pyroelectric effect of piezoelectric materials. Pyroelectrically generated power is a function of the surface of material, the pyroelectric coefficient, and the temporal temperature gradient. In the current project, a simple model is developed to predict the power generation based on the temporal change in temperature of material. In addition, a model is validated with experimental measurements from several piezoelectric materials. It is shown that energy generation can be enhanced by using piezoelectric materials with significantly higher pyroelectric coefficients such as pre-stressed piezoelectric materials or thin films. Meanwhile, a method of continuously harvesting energy from pyroelectric materials is demonstrated using an innovative cyclic heating scheme. Besides, simple analytic expressions are developed for ideal voltage, power and power densities as a function of pyroelectric constant, permittivity, surface area, thickness, temperature variation.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

April 2010

Included in

Engineering Commons