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Experimental Investigation of Energy Harvesting With Essential Nonlinearities

[+] Author Affiliations
Angela Triplett, D. Dane Quinn

The University of Akron, Akron, OH

Paper No. DETC2011-48164, pp. 301-307; 7 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 1: 23rd Biennial Conference on Mechanical Vibration and Noise, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5478-5
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


The advancement of technology of portable electronics and devices has increased the need for self-sufficient energy sources. This work investigates the potentiality of a vibration-based energy harvesting system based on the response of an attachment with strong nonlinear behavior. The electromagnetic coupling is achieved by a piezoelectric element across a resistive load. Typical designs utilize a linear oscillator, which limits the peak harvesting performance to a narrow band of frequencies about the natural frequency of the oscillator. An essentially nonlinear cubic oscillator is shown, with proper design, to significantly improve the range of frequencies for sufficient harvesting when compared with a tuned linear oscillator design. Numerical simulations of the proposed model reveal this wider band of frequencies harvest significant power when the system is subjected to harmonic excitation. A physical model was developed and the acquired instantaneous voltage was recorded to calculate the average power over a resistive load and to experimentally validate the numerical simulations.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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