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Navy

Tunable Energy Harvesting Devices and Sensors

Platform technology for mechanical and thermal energy harvesting devices

Photonics Sensors
The US Navy has developed a platform technology for high performance, broadband, tunable sensors and energy harvesting devices responsive to magnetic, mechanical, and thermal inputs.
The US Navy has developed a platform technology for high performance, broadband, tunable sensors and energy harvesting devices responsive to magnetic, mechanical, and thermal inputs.

The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport has developed and tested a patent pending platform technology to apply small levels of compressive stress to domain engineered PIN-PNM-PT ferroelectric single crystals.  The pre-stress brings the crystal near the phase transition so only a small thermal or mechanical input is required to drive the crystal back and forth through the phase transformation.  The transformation yields a large change in polarization and strain leading to energy density per cycle nearly two orders of magnitude greater than linear piezo materials.

The Navy’s technology exhibits relatively uniform operation over a broad bandwidth, unlike conventional mass spring oscillatory harvesters that are limited to peak performance near a resonant frequency.  The devices are also tunable—changing the stress level on the crystal alters the threshold at which phase transition will occur, leading to broader ranges where waste heat or other input sources could be exploited.

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