Vibration energy harvesting from impulsive excitations via a bistable nonlinear attachment

Sandra Chiacchiari, Francesco Romeo, D. Michael McFarland, Lawrence A. Bergman, Alexander F. Vakakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A vibration-based bistable electromagnetic energy harvester coupled to a directly excited primary system is examined numerically. The primary goal of the study is to investigate the potential benefit of the bistable element for harvesting broadband and low-amplitude vibration energy. The considered system consists of a grounded, weakly damped, linear oscillator (LO) coupled to a light-weight, weakly damped oscillator by means of an element which provides both cubic nonlinear and negative linear stiffness components and electromechanical coupling elements. Single and repeated impulses with varying amplitude applied to the LO are the vibration energy sources considered. A thorough sensitivity analysis of the system's key parameters provides design insights for a bistable nonlinear energy harvesting (BNEH) device able to achieve robust harvesting efficiency. This is achieved through the exploitation of three BNEH main dynamical regimes; namely, periodic cross-well, aperiodic (chaotic) cross-well, and in-well oscillations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-97
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Bistability
  • Energy harvesting
  • Low-energy impacts
  • Negative stiffness
  • Non-linear dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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