Investigations of a stiffness tunable nonlinear vibrational energy harvester

Dongxu Su, Kimihiko Nakano, Rencheng Zheng, Matthew P. Cartmell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The recent potential benefit of nonlinearity has been applying in order to improve the effectiveness of energy harvesting devices. For instance, at relatively high excitation levels, both low and high-energy responses can coexist for the same parameter combinations in a hardening type Duffing oscillator, and this provides a wider bandwidth and a higher energy harvesting effectiveness under periodic excitations. However, frequency or amplitude sweeps of the excitation must be used in order to reach a desirable high-energy orbit, and this gives a limitation on practical implementation. This paper presents a stiffness tunable nonlinear vibrational energy harvester which contains a moving magnetic end mass attached to a cantilever beam, whose nonlinearity emerges from the interaction forces with two neighboring permanent magnets facing with opposing poles. The motivating hypothesis has been that the jump from the low-energy orbit to the high-energy orbit can be triggered by tuning the stiffness of the system without changing the frequency or the amplitude of the excitation. Theoretical investigations show a methodology for tuning stiffness, and experimental tests have validated that the proposed method can be used to trigger a jump to the desirable state, and hereby this can broaden the bandwidth of the energy harvester.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics
Issue number8
Early online date9 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2014


  • energy harvesting
  • hardening type duffing oscillator
  • tunable stiffness

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