Linear and nonlinear vibration-based energy harvesting

Applied and Computational Mathematics Seminar
Monday, January 23, 2012 - 14:05
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 006
Georgia Tech, School of Mechanical Engineering
The transformation of vibrations into low-power electricity has received growing attention over the last decade. The goal in this research field is to enable self-powered electronic components by harvesting the vibrational energy available in their environment. This talk will be focused on linear and nonlinear vibration-based energy harvesting using piezoelectric materials, including the modeling and experimental validation efforts. Electromechanical modeling discussions will involve both distributed-parameter and lumped-parameter approaches for quantitative prediction and qualitative representation. An important issue in energy harvesters employing linear resonance is that the best performance of the device is limited to a narrow bandwidth around the fundamental resonance frequency. If the excitation frequency slightly deviates from the resonance condition, the power output is drastically reduced. Energy harvesters based on nonlinear configurations (e.g., monostable and bistable Duffing oscillators with electromechanical coupling) offer rich nonlinear dynamic phenomena and outperform resonant energy harvesters under harmonic excitation over a range of frequencies. High-energy limit-cycle oscillations and chaotic vibrations in strongly nonlinear bistable beam and plate configurations are of particular interest. Inherent material nonlinearities and dissipative nonlinearities will also be discussed. Broadband random excitation of energy harvesters will be summarized with an emphasis on stochastic resonance in bistable configurations. Recent efforts on aeroelastic energy harvesting as well as underwater thrust and electricity generation using fiber-based flexible piezoelectric composites will be addressed briefly.