Dynamically Adjusting Piezoelectric AC Current Sensors and Energy Scavengers

Tech ID: 20755 / UC Case 2010-098-0

Brief Description

There is strong commercial potential in the use of piezoelectric crystals for AC electricity sensors and in energy scavenging from nearby energized conductors. However, the widespread adoption of piezoelectrics in these applications is predicated on low cost of ownership including long lifecycles that don't require maintenance -- such as replacing batteries or failed parts. Therefore, improving the duration of the no-maintenance lifecycle of this technology strengthens its market potential for broad commercial penetration.

To address this opportunity, researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a means of dynamically adjusting the operating properties of piezoelectric crystals used in AC electricity sensing and energy scavenging applications. This dynamic adjustment reduces the fatigue of piezoelectric crystals thereby promoting a longer lifecyle. In addition, the dynamic adjustments are implemented via circuit means -- instead of mechanical means that require relatively substantial power.

Suggested uses

AC electricity sensing and energy scavenging (from nearby energized conductors for use in power systems).


  • Longer lifecycles from reduced fatigue;
  • Lower electric power via circuit implementation (not mechanical implementation);

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 8,723,397 05/13/2014 2010-098


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  • Paprotny, Igor
  • White, Richard M.

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