Field Evaluation of Piezoelectric Energy Harvesters on Bridge Structure

Lukai Guo, Hao Wang, John Braley, Giri Venkiteela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aims to develop and evaluate vibration-based piezoelectric energy harvesters for generating power from a bridge structure. New designs of multiple-degree-of-freedom (DOF) cantilevers were proposed and evaluated in a laboratory and on a full-scale bridge. It was found that all cantilever designs showed potential of generating 35 V voltage outputs under a simple sinusoidal vibration scenario in the laboratory. Field testing results showed that the match between the vibration frequencies of bridge structure and the resonant frequencies of cantilevers significantly affected the voltage output from the piezoelectric energy harvester under moving tire loads. Through adding more DOF on the same cantilever, the voltage attenuation from peaks generated by the cantilever turned to be less significant after each load passing, leading to greater energy outputs in some cases. With adjusting the mass combination in the 3-DOF cantilever design, the voltage output and energy production reached 11.1 V and 58.2 μJ under one single loading pulse, respectively, which was higher than 9.2 V and 14.9 μJ obtained from the best scenario of 1-DOF cantilevers. The study findings indicate the potential of developing multi-band piezoelectric energy harvesters for harvesting energy from bridge vibrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number462
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • bridge vibration
  • cantilever
  • energy harvesting
  • piezoelectric
  • resonant frequencies


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