Toward broadband vibration energy harvesting via mechanical motion-rectification induced inertia nonlinearity

Mingyi Liu, Wei Che Tai, Lei Zuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Broad frequency bandwidth is a desired feature for most energy harvesting systems. Rotational electromagnetic generators are widely used in energy harvesting systems and the generator rotor is considered as an inerter. While a lot of research striving for increasing frequency bandwidth, we found out that the inerter makes the bandwidth narrow. To solve this problem, this paper proposes using inertia nonlinearity which is realized by mechanical motion rectification (MMR). The influence of the MMR on energy harvesting performance in inerter-based systems was numerically and experimentally investigated with harmonic excitations of constant displacement amplitude. Simulation is done by transforming the mechanical system to an analogous electrical system. The simulation results show that the bandwidth of the MMR based system is broader than that of the counterpart without MMR. System parameter was identified by parameter fitting and experiment was conducted to verify the numerical simulation. Moreover, in the MMR based system, the force transmitted from the harvester to the base was decreased compared to the counterpart without MMR. For excitations with constant force amplitude, MMR based energy harvesting systems also have much broader frequency bandwidth compared to the counterpart without MMR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number075022
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • broadband
  • energy harvesting
  • inertia nonlinearity
  • mechanical motion rectification
  • rotational electromagnetic generator


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