Energy harvester synthesis via coupled linear-bistable system with multistable dynamics

Z. Wu, R. L. Harne, K. W. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


In this research we study the dynamics of a coupled linear oscillator-bistable energy harvester system. The method of harmonic balance and perturbation analysis are used to predict the existence and stability of the bistable device interwell vibration. The influences of important parameters on tailoring the coupled system response are investigated to determine strategies for improved energy harvesting performance. We demonstrate analytically that for excitation frequencies in a bandwidth less than the natural frequency of the uncoupled linear oscillator having net mass that is the combination of the bistable and linear bodies, the bistable harvester dynamics may be substantially intensified as compared to a single (individual) bistable harvester. In addition, the linear-bistable coupled system may introduce a stable out-of-phase dynamic around the natural frequency of the uncoupled linear oscillator, enhancing the performance of the harvester by providing a second interwell response not possible when using a single bistable harvester. Key analytical findings are confirmed through numerical simulations and experiments, validating the predicted trends and demonstrating the advantages of the coupled system for energy harvesting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number061005
JournalJournal of Applied Mechanics, Transactions ASME
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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