Energy harvesting

It is expected that energy harvesting will be a serious candidate for the next decade’s energy autonomy and efficiency. In a dynamics environment such as in the United States, ambient energy can be harvested from pavements, roads, railroads, etc. and the market is very large: Medical and military applications, consumer electronics, vehicle sensors, and daily life equipment.

Energy harvesting systems are usually nonlinear, exhibiting such nonlinear phenomena as materials nonlinearities, geometrical nonlinearities, multiple scale response and multiple solutions appearance. It is well known that the efficiency of numerous of engineered systems could be enhanced in the nonlinear regime. However, the nonlinear regime can be potentially harmful and requires sufficient knowledge on the system to implement an appropriate control strategy. Our focus in this research topic consists of enhancing focus on the application of nonlinear phenomena to enhance the performance of energy harvesting systems. We are interested in providing a more realistic mathematical modeling, new design using nonlinearities of the system, stabilizing the system by taking advantage of nonlinearity, discovering the real behavior of the system by including nonlinearity. Another aspect of our research consists of combining properties of advance material and nonlinear phenomena. Research investigations include the following.

  • Nonlinear modeling of energy harvesting systems
  • Broadband energy harvesting
  • Nonlinear analysis of energy harvesting system (Resonance, snap-through, homoclinic/heteroclinic bifurcations, stability, multiple attractor)
  • Energy harvesting system with fractional order physical properties
  • Energy harvester system with strong geometric and ferroresonant nonlinearities
  • Wind flow energy harvester
  • Synchronization charged extraction
Investigators: Cedrick Kwuimy, PhD and C. Nataraj, PhD
Funding agency:
Collaborator: G. Litak, PhD

Sample publications:

  1. Kwuimy A. Kitio, Litak G., Borowiec M., Nataraj C., 2012, Performance of a piezoelectric energy harvester driven by air flow, Applied Physics Letters,100, 2, 024103