Title page for ETD etd-06142011-144705

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Karami, Mohammad Amin
Author's Email Address karami@vt.edu
URN etd-06142011-144705
Title Micro-Scale and Nonlinear Vibrational Energy Harvesting
Degree PhD
Department Engineering Science and Mechanics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Inman, Daniel J. Committee Chair
Hajj, Muhammad R. Committee Member
Hyer, Michael W. Committee Member
Priya, Shashank Committee Member
Ross, Shane D. Committee Member
  • Continuous Vibrations
  • Nonlinear Systems
  • Cardiac Pacemakers
  • MEMS
  • Energy Harvesting
Date of Defense 2012-06-03
Availability restricted
This work addresses issues in energy harvesting that have plagued the potential use of harvesting through the piezoelectric effect at the MEMS scale. Effective energy harvesting devices typically consist of a cantilever beam substrate coated with a thin layer of piezoceramic material and fixed with a tip mass tuned to resonant at the dominant frequency of the ambient vibration. The fundamental natural frequency of a beam increases as its length decreases, so that at the MEMS scale the resonance condition occurs orders of magnitude higher than ambient vibration frequencies rendering the harvester ineffective. Here we study two new geometries for MEMS scale cantilever harvesters. The zigzag and spiral geometries have low fundamental frequencies which can be tuned to the ambient vibrations. The second issue in energy harvesting is the frequency sensitivity of the linear vibration harvesters. A nonlinear hybrid energy harvester is presented that has a wide frequency bandwidth and large power output. Finally, linear and nonlinear energy harvesting devices are designed for powering the cardiovascular pacemakers using the vibrations in the chest area induced by the heartbeats.

The mechanical and electromechanical vibrations of the zigzag structure are analytically modeled, verified with Rayleigh’s method, and validated with experiments. An analytical model of coupled bending torsional vibrations of spiral structure is presented. A novel approximation method is developed for analyzing the electromechanical vibrations of energy harvesting devices. The unified approximation method is effective for linear, nonlinear mono-stable, and nonlinear bi-stable energy harvesting. It can also be utilized for piezoelectric, electromagnetic or hybrid energy harvesters. The approximation method accurately approximates the effect of energy harvesting on vibrations of energy harvester with changes in damping ratio and excitation frequency. Experimental investigations are performed to verify the analytical model of the nonlinear hybrid energy harvester. A detailed experimental parametric study of the nonlinear hybrid design is also performed. Linear and nonlinear energy harvesting devices have been designed that can generate sufficient amounts of power from the heartbeat induced vibrations. The nonlinear devices are effective over a wide range of heart rate.

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