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TitleUnderstanding efficiency limits of dielectric elastomer driver circuitry
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLo, H.C., Calius E.P., and Anderson I.
Conference NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Date Published2013
KeywordsActuators, Circuit parameter, Conducting polymers, Dielectric elastomers, Efficiency, Efficiency limits, Elastomers, electric resistance, Electrical energy, Electroactive polymer actuators, Electrode resistance, Electronic equipment, Mode of operations, Output resistance, Plastics, Power conditioning
AbstractDielectric elastomers (DEs) can theoretically operate at efficiencies greater than that of electromagnetics. This is due to their unique mode of operation which involves charging and discharging a capacitive load at a few kilovolts (typically 1kV-4kV). Efficient recovery of the electrical energy stored in the capacitance of the DE is essential in achieving favourable efficiencies as actuators or generators. This is not a trivial problem because the DE acts as a voltage source with a low capacity and a large output resistance. These properties are not ideal for a power source, and will reduce the performance of any power conditioning circuit utilizing inductors or transformers. This paper briefly explores how circuit parameters affect the performance of a simple inductor circuit used to transfer energy from a DE to another capacitor. These parameters must be taken into account when designing the driving circuitry to maximize performance. © 2013 SPIE.

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