Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical Engineering


Yirong Lin

Second Advisor

David Espalin


Despite increasing efforts to use renewable electricity generation techniques in the last couple of decades, the world is still heavily reliant on traditional power generation techniques. This creates the need to make such systems cheaper and less pollutant through improvements to their efficiency. Increasing the efficiency and reliability of energy conversion systems, specially those based on combustion processes has been of interest for many years. However, material limitations have brought these systems to a stagnant condition.

A novel approach to help increase the efficiency of such systems is to closely monitor their operating conditions and therefore be able to increase their efficiency through real-time active control of the energy conversion parameters such as pressure and temperature. To achieve this active monitoring, multiple wireless sensors need to be introduced to the system. However, the introduction of wireless sensing solutions is limited due to the electronic components inside of them, as well as the inability to power them.

The work presented in this Dissertation is focused on alleviating this powering challenge in the wireless sensing system. The use of the piezoelectric and pyroelectric effect from ferroelectric materials as a source to power these sensors is presented. This is achieved though mechanical and thermal energy harvesting. The energy harvesting capabilities of commercially available and additively manufactured ferroelectric ceramics is characterized and reported in this work.

Thermal energy harvesting at different temperatures, as well as simultaneous multi-stimuli thermal-mechanical energy harvesting was characterized. Ideal loading levels and operating conditions for energy harvesting of the presented ceramics are determined. Additionally, ferroelectric ceramics were fabricated using two different additive manufacturing techniques. The impact of the additive manufacturing process in the functional properties of the ferroelectric ceramics was characterized. Also, energy harvesting capabilities of additively manufactured ceramics with different geometries is reported. Finally, new research projects based on the findings reported in this work are discussed.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

93 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Luis Angel Chavez