Energy harvesting using dielectric elastomers is an upcoming possibility to convert ambient energy into electric energy. So far energy harvesting cycles are known and described, in which the charging and discharging of the polymer is realized during a constant stretch phase. In real applications a continuously changing stretch must be assumed, so that the time frames of the charging- and discharging-intervals have a considerable influence on the amount of harvested energy. The contribution of this paper is related to the calculation of the optimal charging- and discharging-intervals to maximize the energy gain. Therefore the physical model of a lossy generator is investigated to derive the converted energy as a function of the timing of the charging- and discharging-interval. Afterwards the optimization is carried out for the most significant harvesting cycles with constant electric field and constant charge. The achievable energy gain of these optimized harvesting cycles are compared to each other and control laws for the realization of harvesting cycles are quoted.

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