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A Linear-Element Coupled Nonlinear Energy Harvesting System

[+] Author Affiliations
Shengxi Zhou

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIXi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China

Daniel J. Inman

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Junyi Cao

Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China

Paper No. SMASIS2015-8897, pp. V002T07A007; 8 pages
  • ASME 2015 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
  • Volume 2: Integrated System Design and Implementation; Structural Health Monitoring; Bioinspired Smart Materials and Systems; Energy Harvesting
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, September 21–23, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5730-4
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


This paper presents a linear-spring coupled nonlinear energy harvesting system, which contains linear piezoelectric energy harvesters coupled by linear springs. Although every element of the system is linear, the system will present nonlinear characteristics when it is subjected to excitations because of the geometric nonlinearity induced by coupled motions. Three non-uniform cross-section linear harvesters with the same total length and the different thickness are selected to form the proposed system. Based on Euler-Bernoulli beam assumptions and the geometrical relationship among each element, a detailed modeling process of the proposed system is presented. In order to verify the broadband characteristics, the comparison of the proposed system and its linear counterparts is provided. Under harmonic excitations, the proposed system has much better energy harvesting capacity compared with its linear counterparts. What’s more, the energy harvesting performance of the proposed system is a little better than its linear counterparts under random excitations. The results demonstrate that the advantage of the proposed system is enhanced along with increased excitation level. In addition, such non-magnetic nonlinear energy harvesting system can be used in the areas where magnets are forbidden, such as inside the human body.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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