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TitleTransferring electrical energy between dielectric elastomer actuators
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsLo, H.C.A., Gisby T., McKay T., Calius E.P., and Anderson I.
Conference NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Date Published2012
KeywordsConducting polymers, DEA, Dielectric elastomer actuators, Dielectric elastomers, Driver electronics, Electrical energy, Electroactive polymer actuators, Electromagnetic actuators, Electronic equipment, Electrostatic actuators, Energy efficiency, energy transfer, Energy transfer efficiency, Networks (circuits), Stored electrical energies
AbstractUnlike electromagnetic actuators, Dielectric Elastomer Actuators (DEAs) can exert a static holding force without consuming a significant amount of power. This is because DEAs are electrostatic actuators where the electric charges exert a Maxwell stress. A charged DEA stores its electrical energy as potential energy, in a similar way to a capacitor. To remove or reduce the Maxwell stress, the stored charge with its associated electrical energy must be removed. Current DEA driver electronics simply dispose of this stored electrical energy. If this energy can be recovered, the efficiency of DEAs would improve greatly. We present a simple and efficient way of re-using this stored energy by directly transferring the energy stored in one DEA to another. An energy transfer efficiency of approximately 85% has been achieved. © 2012 SPIE.

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