A Contactless Coupled Pendulum and Piezoelectric Wave Energy Harvester: Model and Experiment

Wuwei Feng, Hongya Chen, Qingping Zou, Di Wang, Xiang Luo, Cathal Cummins, Chuanqiang Zhang, Shujie Yang, Yuxiang Su

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Wireless monitoring systems for the marine environment are important for rapidly growing subsea developments. The power supply of wireless sensor nodes within the monitoring systems, however, is a major challenge. This study proposes a novel piezoelectric wave energy converter (pWEC) device to power the wireless sensing nodes. Unlike previous studies, the proposed device utilizes contactless pWEC technology in which a spring pendulum provides a two-stage frequency amplification of 3.8 times for low-frequency wave environments. The pWEC device consists of a floating body, inner pendulum, spring pendulum, magnets and piezoelectric sheets. In order to harvest the energy from relatively low frequency ocean waves, the pWEC device is designed to have an enhanced energy-capturing frequency. The effects of internal pendulum mass, spring pendulum weight, pendulum length and spring stiffness on wave energy absorption are investigated using theoretical and numerical analysis combined with laboratory experiments. The slider that drives the motion of the piezoelectric sheet vibrates at up to 3.8 times the wave frequency. To test the piezoelectric generators in the laboratory environment, a mechanical structure is set up to simulate the motion of the external floating body and the internal wave energy converter under the action of waves. When the four piezoelectric plates are arranged horizontally, the average output power per plate is increased by 2.4 times, and a single piezoelectric plate can generate an average of 10 mW of power. The proposed piezoelectric wave energy converter device has the potential to provide long-term energy supply for small ocean monitoring platforms at remote locations with reasonable wave energy resources.
Original languageEnglish
Article number876
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2024


  • coupled pendulum
  • piezoelectric sheets
  • spring pendulum
  • wave energy harvester

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Optimization
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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