Nonlinear Piezoelectric Vibration Energy Harvesting from a Vertical Cantilever Beam with Tip Mass

MI Friswell, SF Ali, O Bilgen, S Adhikari, AW Lees (Swansea University) & G Litak (Technical University of Lublin, Poland)

Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, Vol. 23, No. 13, September 2012, pp. 1505-1521

Abstract

A common energy harvesting device uses a piezoelectric patch on a cantilever beam with a tip mass. The usual configuration exploits the linear resonance of the system; this works well for harmonic excitation and when the natural frequency is accurately tuned to the excitation frequency. A new configuration is proposed, consisting of a cantilever beam with a tip mass that is mounted vertically and excited in the transverse direction at its base. This device is highly nonlinear with two potential wells for large tip masses, when the beam is buckled. The system dynamics may include multiple solutions and jumps between the potential wells, and these are exploited in the harvesting device. The electromechanical equations of motion for this system are developed and its response for a range of parameters are investigated using phase portraits and bifurcation diagrams. The model is validated using an experimental device with three different tip masses, representing three interesting cases: a linear system; a low natural frequency, non-buckled beam; and a buckled beam. The most practical configuration seems to be the pre-buckled case, where the proposed system has a low natural frequency, a high level of harvested power, and an increased bandwidth over a linear harvester.

Paper Availability

This material has been published in the Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, Vol. 23, No. 13, September 2012, pp. 1505-1521, the only definitive repository of the content that has been certified and accepted after peer review. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by the Sage.


Link to paper using doi: 10.1177/1045389X12455722

Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures