This paper presents a creative energy harvesting system using a bimorph piezoelectric cantilever-beam to power wireless sensors in an IoT network for the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The bimorph piezoelectric energy harvester (BPEH) comprises a cantilever beam as a substrate sandwiched between two piezoelectric layers to remarkably harness ambient vibrations of an inclined stay cable and convert them into electrical energy when the cable is subjected to a harmonic acceleration. To investigate and design the bridge energy harvesting system, a field measurement was required for collecting cable vibration data. The results of a non-contact laser vibrometer is used to remotely measure the dynamic characteristics of the inclined cables. A finite element study is employed to simulate a 3-D model of the proposed BPEH by COMSOL Multiphasics. The FE modelling results showed that the average power generated by the BPEH excited by a harmonic acceleration of 1 m/s2 at 1 Hz is up to 614 μW which satisfies the minimum electric power required for the sensor node in the proposed IoT network. In this research a LoRaWAN architecture is also developed to utilize the BPEH as a sustainable and sufficient power resource for an IoT platform which uses wireless sensor networks installed on the bridge stay cables to collect and remotely transfer bridge health monitoring data over the bridge in a low-power manner.

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