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Energy Harvesting From Bistable Systems Under Random Excitation

Lentz, Lukas; Nguyen, Huy The; Wagner, Utz von

The transformation of otherwise unused vibrational energy into electric energy through the use of piezoelectric energy harvesting devices has been the subject of numerous investigations. The mechanical part of such a device is often constructed as a cantilever beam with applied piezo patches. If the harvester is designed as a linear resonator the power output relies strongly on the matching of the natural frequency of the beam and the frequency of the harvested vibration which restricts the applicability since most vibrations which are found in built environments are broad-banded or stochastic in nature. A possible approach to overcome this restriction is the use of permanent magnets to impose a nonlinear restoring force on the beam that leads to a broader operating range due to large amplitude motions over a large range of excitation frequencies. In this paper such a system is considered introducing a refined modeling with a modal expansion that incorporates two modal functions and a refined modeling of the magnet beam interaction. The corresponding probability density function in case of random excitation is calculated by the solution of the corresponding Fokker-Planck equation and compared with results from Monte Carlo simulations. Finally some measurements of ambient excitations are discussed.
Published in: Machine Dynamics Research, Institute of Machine Design Fundamentals