Potential benefits of a non-linear stiffness in an energy harvesting device

Ramlan, R., Brennan, M.J., Mace, B.R. and Kovacic, I. (2010) Potential benefits of a non-linear stiffness in an energy harvesting device Nonlinear Dynamics, 59, (4), pp. 545-558. (doi:10.1007/s11071-009-9561-5).


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The benefits of using a non-linear stiffness in an energy harvesting device comprising a mass–spring–damper system are investigated. Analysis based on the principle of conservation of energy reveals a fundamental limit of the effectiveness of any non-linear device over a tuned linear device for such an application. Two types of non-linear stiffness are considered. The first system has a non-linear bi-stable snap-through mechanism. This mechanism has the effect of steepening the displacement response of the mass as a function of time, resulting in a higher velocity for a given input excitation. Numerical results show that more power is harvested by the mechanism if the excitation frequency is much less than the natural frequency. The other non-linear system studied has a hardening spring, which has the effect of shifting the resonance frequency. Numerical and analytical studies show that the device with a hardening spring has a larger bandwidth over which the power can be harvested due to the shift in the resonance frequency

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1007/s11071-009-9561-5
ISSNs: 0924-090X (print)
Keywords: energy harvesting, snap-through, hardening, negative stiffness
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
ePrint ID: 79136
Date :
Date Event
March 2010Published
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2010
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 20:16
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/79136

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