Vibrational energy harvesting seeks to transform the energy in mechanical vibrations to useful electrical power to operate small electrical devices. Most vibrational harvesters rely upon the resonance of a structure excited by input vibrations to develop the large deformations necessary to produce optimal power. However, these devices traditionally operate on a narrow bandwidth of frequencies, limiting their practical application as frequencies in real world scenarios tend to change over time.
A potential solution to this problem is to develop devices that are tuneable to different frequencies. The problem is that common tuning mechanisms require some sort of power supply to operate. This means that in order for tuning to be worthwhile, the increase in power output needs to be significantly larger than the power consumed by the mechanism itself.
This project seeks to create devices capable of broadband harvesting through the use of self-adaptive structures that display the ability to self-tune, changing their resonant frequency to match the input frequency without the need for an additional power supply. A thorough understanding of self-adaptive structures is sought to enable practical implementation in vibrational harvesting.
- L. M. Miller, P. Pillatsch, E. Halvorsen, P. K. Wright, E. M. Yeatman, and A. S. Holmes, “Experimental passive self-tuning behavior of a beam resonator with sliding proof mass,” J. of Sound and Vibration, 09/2013 [link]
- P. Pillatsch, L.M. Miller, E. Halvorsen, P. K. Wright, E. M. Yeatman and A. S. Holmes “Self-tuning behavior of a clamped-clamped beam with sliding proof mass for broadband energy harvesting,” in PowerMEMS, 2013 [link]