Vibrational energy harvesting by exploring structural benefits and nonlinear characteristics

Chongfeng Wei, Xingjian Jing*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Traditional energy harvesters are often of low efficiency due to very limited energy harvesting bandwidth, which should also be enough close to the ambient excitation frequency. To overcome this difficulty, some attempts can be seen in the literature typically with the purposes of either increasing the energy harvesting bandwidth with a harvester array, or enhancing the energy harvesting bandwidth and peak with nonlinear coupling effect etc. This paper presents an alternative way which can achieve tuneable resonant frequency (from high frequency to ultralow frequency) and improved energy harvesting bandwidth and peak simultaneously by employing special structural benefits and advantageous displacement-dependent nonlinear damping property. The proposed energy harvesting system employs a lever systems combined with an X-shape supporting structure and demonstrates very adjustable stiffness and unique nonlinear damping characteristics which are very beneficial for energy harvesting. It is shown that the energy harvesting performance of the proposed system is directly determined by several easy-to-tune structural parameters and also by the relative displacement in a special nonlinear manner, which provides a great flexibility and/or a unique tool for tuning and improving energy harvesting efficiency via matching excitation frequencies and covering a broader frequency band. This study potentially provides a new insight into the design of energy harvesting systems by employing structural benefits and geometrical nonlinearities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-306
Number of pages19
JournalCommunications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation
Early online date04 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support from a GRF Project of HK RGC (No 15206514), a NSFC project (No 61374041) of China, and a grant from the Innovation and Technology Commission of the HKSAR Government to the Hong Kong Branch of National Rail Transit Electrification and Automation Engineering Technology Research Center.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Displacement-dependent nonlinear damping
  • Lever-like structures
  • Vibrational energy harvesting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Vibrational energy harvesting by exploring structural benefits and nonlinear characteristics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this