Vibration-based energy harvesting has drawn significant attention from different engineering disciplines over the last two decades. The studies in this research area have mostly concentrated on cantilevered piezoelectric beam harvesters under base excitations. As an alternative to beam arrangements, patch-based piezoelectric energy harvesters can be integrated on large plate-like structures such as panels of automotive, marine and aerospace applications to extract useful electrical power during their operation. In this paper, electroelastic finite element (FE) simulations of a patch-based piezoelectric energy harvester structurally integrated on a panel of a heavy duty vehicle are presented during different phases of operation. FE model of the panel together with a piezoceramic harvester patch is built using ANSYS software. The FE model takes into account coupled electromechanical dynamics and the fully-conductive electrode layers of the harvester patch. The vibration response of the panel as well as the voltage output of the harvester patch under operating conditions is simulated using the forces obtained from experimental measurements on the heavy duty vehicle. Excitation forces are calculated from operational acceleration measurements using matrix inversion method, which is a force identification technique. Two different operating conditions of the heavy duty vehicle are considered: stationary and moving on a test track while the engine was running. Using the excitation forces in the FE simulations, the electrical power generation of the harvester patch is predicted for a wide range of resistive loads. Electrical power outputs are then presented for short-circuit and open-circuit conditions. The numerical results show that the use of a harvester patch attached on a panel of a heavy duty vehicle generates reasonably well electrical power outputs.

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