Title page for ETD etd-05112010-020228

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Niezrecki, Christopher
URN etd-05112010-020228
Title Power factor correction and power consumption characterization of piezoelectric actuators
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Cudney, Harley H. Committee Chair
Robertshaw, Harry H. Committee Member
Wicks, Alfred L. Committee Member
  • Actuators.
Date of Defense 1992-09-03
Availability restricted
A piezoceramic actuator used for structural control behaves electrically as a nearly pure capacitance. When conventional amplifiers are used to drive these actuators, the current and voltage is close to 90 degrees out of phase. This causes the power factor (PF) of the load to be close to zero and results in excessive power requirements. This thesis reports the results of a study of the following question: What effect does applying power factor correction methods to piezoceramic actuators have on their power consumption characteristics? A subproblem we explored was to detennine the qualitative relationship between the power consumption of a piezoceramic actuator and the damping that actuator added to a structure.

To address the subproblem, a feedback control experiment was built which used a ceramic piezoceramic actuator and a strain rate sensor configured to add damping to a cantilevered beam. A disturbance was provided by a shaker attached to the beam. The power consumption of the actuator was detennined by measuring the current and voltage of the signal to the actuator. The energy dissipated in the beam by the feedback control loop was assumed to be modeled by an ideal structural damping model. A model relating structural damping as a function of the apparent power consumed by the actuator was developed, qualitatively verified, and physically justified.

Power factor correction methods were employed by adding an inductor in both parallel to and in series with the piezoceramic actuator. The inductance values were chosen such that each inductor-capacitor (LC) circuit was in resonance at the second natural frequency of the beam.

Implementing the parallel LC circuit reduced the current consumption of the piezoceramic actuator by 75% when compared to the current consumption of the actuator used without an inductor. Implementing the series LC circuit produced a 300% increase in the voltage applied to the actuator compared to the case when no inductor was used. In both cases, employing power factor correction methods corrected the power factor to near unity and reduced the apparent power by 12 dB. A theoretical model of each circuit was developed.

The analytical and empirical results are virtually identical. The results of this study can be used to synthesize circuits to modify piezoceramic actuators, reducing the voltage or current requirements of the amplifiers used to drive those actuators

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