Research Papers

Energy Harvesting From Vibrations With a Nonlinear Oscillator

[+] Author and Article Information
David A. W. Barton1

Department of Engineering Mathematics, University of Bristol, Queen’s Building, Bristol BS8 1TR, UKdavid.barton@bristol.ac.uk

Stephen G. Burrow

Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Bristol, Queen’s Building, Bristol BS8 1TR, UKstephen.burrow@bristol.ac.uk

Lindsay R. Clare

Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Bristol, Queen’s Building, Bristol BS8 1TR, UKaelrc@bristol.ac.uk


Corresponding author.

J. Vib. Acoust 132(2), 021009 (Mar 17, 2010) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000809 History: Received May 22, 2009; Revised December 02, 2009; Published March 17, 2010; Online March 17, 2010

In this paper, we present a nonlinear electromagnetic energy harvesting device that has a broadly resonant response. The nonlinearity is generated by a particular arrangement of magnets in conjunction with an iron-cored stator. We show the resonant response of the system to both pure-tone excitation and narrow-band random excitation. In addition to the primary resonance, the superharmonic resonances of the harvester are also investigated and we show that the corresponding mechanical upconversion of the excitation frequency may be useful for energy harvesting. The harvester is modeled using a Duffing-type equation and the results are compared with the experimental data.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

(Top) A photograph of the harvester. (Bottom) A schematic diagram of the harvester. The harvester consists of a cantilever beam with a tip mass. The magnets on the tip are arranged such that there is a complete reversal of magnetic flux during 1 cycle.

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Figure 2

(a) Mechanical spring characteristics of the beam/magnet system. The solid gray curve and the dashed gray line show the magnetic and mechanical spring characteristics, respectively; the solid black curve shows the overall spring characteristics. (b) Characteristics of the electromagnetic induction.

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Figure 3

Experimental frequency sweeps (increasing frequency then decreasing frequency) for three amplitudes of excitation. The peak excitation displacement is kept constant across a frequency sweep using a closed-loop controller around the shaker.

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Figure 4

A comparison of the experimental frequency response and the model equation 1 frequency response. The discrepancies are likely to be due to unmodeled magnetic loss mechanisms.

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Figure 5

The basins of attraction of the model equation 1 computed by numerical simulation for (a) 27.5 Hz, (b) 30 Hz, (c) 32.5 Hz, and (d) 35 Hz. The basin of attraction of the low-energy state is colored in black and the basin of attraction of the high-energy state is colored in white.

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Figure 6

A comparison of frequency sweeps for varying electrical loads: (a) velocity and (b) power. Note that in the open-circuit condition, no power is developed.

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Figure 7

A comparison of the frequency response to a pure-tone excitation and a narrow-band random signal (2 Hz bandwidth) of the energy harvester in open-circuit conditions. The response of the harvester to the random signal is averaged (rms) over 10 s.

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Figure 8

Frequency sweeps for varying bandwidth narrow-band random excitation. The corresponding bandwidths are (a) 2 Hz, (b) 1 Hz, (c) 0.5 Hz, and (d) 0.25 Hz.

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Figure 9

Superharmonic resonances of the energy harvester for varying electrical loads. At the resonance peaks, the harvester is responding at an integer multiple of the excitation frequency (as denoted above each peak in the figure). At the most prominent peak, the harvester is responding at three times the excitation frequency.




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