Energy harvesting from pavement via PVDF: Hybrid piezo-pyroelectric effects

Jie Hu, Junliang Tao, Guangxi Wu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In the U.S., there are over 4 million miles (6 million km) of roadways and more than 250 million registered vehicles. The energy lost in the pavement system due to traffic-induced vibration and deformation is enormous. If effectively harvested, such energy can serve as an alternative sustainable energy source that can be easily integrated to the transportation system. The potential of PVDF, which is a piezoelectric polymer material, is investigated as a potential energy harvester integrated in pavement systems. The uniqueness of this study lies in that the electrical response of PVDF under coupled mechanical and thermal stimulations are studied. It is well known that most piezoelectric materials are also pyroelectric materials, which convert temperature change into electricity. However, the potential of PVDF as a hybrid piezo-pyroelectric energy harvester has been seldom studied. Through series of well controlled experiments, it is found that there exists interesting coupling phenomenon between piezoelectric and pyroelectric effects of PVDF: the voltage generated by simultaneous mechanical and thermal stimulations is the sum of voltages generated by separate stimulations. In addition, an estimation of power generation through piezoelectric and pyroelectric effect is conducted. Finally, the overall effects of temperature on hybrid piezo-pyroelectric energy harvesting are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationActive and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2016
EditorsGyuhae Park
ISBN (Electronic)9781510600409
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventActive and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2016 - Las Vegas, United States
Duration: Mar 21 2016Mar 24 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceActive and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLas Vegas


  • Energy harvesting
  • Hybrid
  • Pavement
  • Piezoelectric
  • Pyroelectric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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