A piezoelectric compliant mechanism (PCM) energy harvester is designed, modeled, and analyzed that consists of a polyvinylidene diflouoride, PVDF unimorph clamped at its base and attached to a compliant mechanism at its tip. The compliant hinge stiffness is carefully tuned to approach a low frequency first mode with an efficient (nearly quadratic) shape that provides a uniform strain distribution. A nonlinear model of the PCM energy harvester under large base excitation is derived to determine the maximum power that can be generated by the device. Simulation results show that the PCM bridge structure self-limits the displacement and maximum strain at large excitations compared with the proof mass cantilever, improving the device robustness. The PCM outperforms the cantilever in both average power and power-strain sensitivity at high accelerations due to the PCM axial stretching effect and its more uniform strain distribution.

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