Performance of dissipative dielectric elastomer generators

Dielectric elastomers show great promise for energy harvesting due to their higher energy density and efficiency, as compared to competitive technologies like piezoelectrics and electromagnetic generators. In this work, along with collaborators from Johannes Kepler University in Austria, we analyze a dielectric elastomer generator with two dissipative processes: viscoelasticity and current leakage. We discuss trade-offs between large electrical energy and power output and poor conversion efficiency. Excessive current leakage results in negative efficiency—the dielectric elastomer generator wastes energy instead of generating it.

Contour  plot  showing  the  effect  of  maximum stretch and  period on  the  mechano-electrical energy conversion efficiency (%) of  a dissipative generator.

Citation Info. 
Choon Chiang Foo, Soo Jin Adrian Koh, Christoph Keplinger, Rainer Kaltseis, Siegfried Bauer, Zhigang Suo. Performance of dissipative dielectric elastomer generatorsJournal of Applied Physics, 111(9), 094107, (2012).