As a compact and durable design concept, energy harvesting skin (EH skin), which consists of piezoelectric patches directly attached onto the surface of a vibrating structure as one embodiment, has been recently proposed. This study aims at developing an electromechanically-coupled analytical model of the EH skin so as to understand its electromechanical behavior and get physical insights about important design considerations. Based on the Kirchhoff plate theory, the Hamilton’s principle is used to derive the differential equations of motion. The Rayleigh-Ritz method is implemented to calculate the natural frequency and the corresponding mode shapes of the EH skin. The electrical circuit equation is derived by substituting the piezoelectric constitutive relation into Gauss’s law. Finally, the steady-state output voltage is obtained by solving the differential equations of motion and electrical circuit equation simultaneously. The results of the analytical model are verified by comparing those of the finite element analysis (FEA) in a hierarchical manner.

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