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Triboelectric energy harvesting, Finite Element contact model, Paramet- ric FEA, Hyperelastic material


One of the associated factors that controls the performance of a triboelectric generator (TEG) is the mechanical deformation of the dielectric layer. Therefore, a good contact model can be a prominent tool to find a more realistic and efficient way of determining the relationships between the contact and electrical output of the generator. In this study, experiments are conducted on a vertical contact mode triboelectric generator under an MTS machine. The open-circuit voltages are measured at different loads imposed by the MTS by controlling the cyclic displacement of the top tribo layer of the generator. A finite-element-based theoretical model is developed to explain the behavior of the generator during the experiments. The 2D-contact problem of the micro-structured tribo layers is simulated and then the contact results are integrated into 3D to find the actual contact area between the two surfaces. These numerical contact results improve the existing theoretical model by evaluating the correct surface charge density and contact area as a function of the input parameters. The excellent agreement between our experimental and theoretical results illustrates that theoretical modeling could be used as a robust approach to predict the mechanical and electrical performance of TEGs. In addition, some parametric studies of the harvester are presented here for different geometrical parameters of the microstructures.



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