High-frequency vibration energy harvesting from repeated impulsive forcing utilizing intentional dynamic instability caused by strong nonlinearity

Kevin Remick, D. Dane Quinn, D. Michael McFarland, Lawrence Bergman, Alexander Vakakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The work in this study explores the excitation of high-frequency dynamic instabilities to enhance the performance of a strongly nonlinear vibration-based energy harvesting system subject to repeated impulsive excitations. These high-fraequency instabilities arise from transient resonance captures (TRCs) in the damped dynamics of the system, leading to large-amplitude oscillations in the mechanical system. Under proper forcing conditions, these high-frequency instabilities can be sustained. The primary system is composed of a grounded, weakly damped linear oscillator, which is directly subjected to impulsive forcing. A light-weight, damped nonlinear oscillator (nonlinear energy sink, NES) is coupled to the primary system using electromechanical coupling elements and strongly nonlinear stiffness elements. The essential (nonlinearizable) stiffness nonlinearity arises from geometric and kinematic effects resulting from the traverse deflection of a piano wire coupling the two oscillators. The electromechanical coupling is composed of a neodymium magnet and inductance coil, which harvests the energy in the mechanical system and transfers it to the electrical system which, in this present case, is composed of a simple resistive element. The energy dissipated in the circuit is inferred as a measure of energy harvesting capability. The large-amplitude TRCs result in strong, nearly irreversible energy transfer from the primary system to the NES, where the harvesting elements work to convert the mechanical energy to electrical energy. The primary goal of this work is to numerically and experimentally demonstrate the efficacy of inducing sustained high-frequency dynamic instability in a system of mechanical oscillators to achieve enhanced vibration energy harvesting performance. This work is a continuation of a companion paper (Remick K, Quinn D, McFarland D, et al. (2015) Journal of Sound and Vibration Final Publication) where vibration energy harvesting of the same system subject to single impulsive excitation is studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-487
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Strong nonlinearity
  • electromagnetic
  • energy harvesting
  • impulsive excitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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