Optimization of Load-driven Soft Dielectric Elastomer Generators

Eliana Bortot, Roberta Springhetti, Gal DeBotton, Massimiliano Gei

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The performance of energy harvesting generators based on dielectric elastomers is investigated in this contribution. The amount of energy extracted by a four-step load-driven cycle is constrained by structural instabilities due to the loss of tension, the electric breakdown and the ultimate stretch ratio. To identify the optimal cycle complying with these limits, we formulate a constraint optimization problem proving the dependency of the generator performance on the ultimate stretch ratio and, moreover, a universal limit on the dielectric strength beyond which the optimal cycle is independent of this parameter. Thus, we reveal that there is an upper bound on the amount of harvested energy that depends only on the ultimate stretch ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-51
Number of pages10
JournalProcedia IUTAM
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
EventIUTAM Symposium on Mechanics of Soft Active Materials, SAM 2014 - Haifa, Israel
Duration: 12 May 201415 May 2014


  • Energy harvesting
  • electro-active polymers
  • electroelasticity
  • optimization
  • smart materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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