Stabilising high energy orbit oscillations by the utilisation of centrifugal effects for rotating-tyre-induced energy harvesting

Yunshun Zhang, Rencheng Zheng, Kimihiko Nakano, Matthew P. Cartmell

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Nonlinear energy harvesters are frequently considered in preference to linear devices because they can potentially overcome the narrow frequency bandwidth limitations inherent to linear variants however, the possibility of variable harvesting efficiency is raised for the nonlinear case. This paper proposes a rotational energy harvester which may be fitted into an automobile tyre, with the advantage that it may broaden the rotating frequency bandwidth and simultaneously stabilise high-energy orbit oscillations. By consideration of the centrifugal effects due to rotation, the overall restoring force will potentially be increased for a cantilever implemented within the harvester, and this manifests as an increase in its equivalent elastic stiffness. In addition, this study reveals that the initial potential well barriers become as shallow as those for a bistable system. When the rotational frequency increases beyond an identifiable boundary frequency, the system transforms into one with a potential barrier of a typical monostable system. On this basis, the inter-well motion of the bistable system can provide sufficient kinetic energy so that the cantilever maintains its high-energy orbit oscillation for monostable hardening behaviour. Furthermore, in a vehicle drive experiment, it has been shown that the effective rotating frequency bandwidth can be widened from 15 km/h-25 km/h to 10 km/h-40 km/h. In addition, it is confirmed that the centrifugal effects can improve the harvester performance, producing a mean power of 61 μW at a driving speed of 40 km/h, and this is achieved by stabilising the high-energy orbit oscillations of the rotational harvester.

Original languageEnglish
Article number143901
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2018


  • elasticity
  • rotational dynamics
  • kinematics
  • mechanical systems
  • mechanical testing
  • optical bistability

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