Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research


Sustained High-Frequency Energy Harvesting through a Strongly Nonlinear Electromechanical System under Single and Repeated Impulsive Excitations

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-2014


This work investigates a vibration-based energy harvesting system composed of two oscillators coupled with essential (nonlinearizable) stiffness nonlinearity and subject to impulsive loading of the mechanical component. The oscillators in the system consist of one grounded, weakly damped linear oscillator mass (primary system), which is coupled to a second light-weight, weakly damped oscillating mass attachment (the harvesting element) through a piezoelastic cable. Due to geometric/kinematic mechanical effects the piezoelastic cable generates a nonlinearizable cubic stiffness nonlinearity, whereas electromechanical coupling simply sees a resistive load. Under single and repeated impulsive inputs the transient damped dynamics of this system exhibit transient resonance captures (TRCs) causing high-frequency ‘bursts’ or instabilities in the response of the harvesting element. In turn, these high-frequency dynamic instabilities result in strong and sustained energy transfers from the directly excited primary system to the lightweight harvester, which, through the piezoelastic element, are harvested by the electrical component of the system or, in the present case, dissipated across a resistive element in the circuit. The primary goal of this work is to demonstrate the efficacy of employing this type of high-frequency dynamic instability to achieve enhanced nonlinear vibration energy harvesting under impulsive excitations.

Publication Title

Journal of Sound and Vibration





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