Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Chai, Tan

Second Advisor

Cooley, Christopher


This study investigates energy harvesting characteristics from a spinning device that consists of a proof mass that is supported by two orthogonal elastic structures with the piezoelectric material. Deformation in the piezoelectric structures due to vibration of the proof mass generates voltages to power electrical loads. The governing equations for this electromechanically coupled device are derived using Newtonian mechanics and Kirchhoff's voltage law. The case where the device rotates at a constant speed and is subjected to sinusoidal base excitation is examined in detail. The energy harvesting behavior is investigated for devices with identical piezoelectric support structures (called tuned devices). Closed-form expressions are derived for the steady state response and power harvested. For nonzero rotation speeds, these devices have multifrequency dynamic response and power harvested due to the combined vibration and rotation of the host system. The average power harvested for one oscillation cycle is calculated for a wide range of operating conditions to quantify the devices' performance. Resonances do not occur for cases when the base excitation frequency is fixed and the rotation speed varies. For cases of fixed rotation speed and varying base excitation frequency, however, resonances do occur. The number and location of these resonances depend on the electrical circuit resistances and rotation speed. Resonances do not occur at speeds or frequencies predicted by resonance diagrams, which are commonly used in the study of rotating system vibration. These devices have broadband speed energy harvesting ability. They perform equally well at high and low speeds; high speeds are not necessary for their optimal performance. The impact of the chosen damping model on energy harvesting characteristics for tuned devices is investigated. Two common damping models are considered: viscous damping and structural (hysteretic) damping. Closed-form expressions for steady state dynamic response and power harvested are derived for models with viscous and structural damping. The average power harvested using the model with structural damping behaves similarly at high speeds and low speeds, and at high resistances and low resistances. For the viscous damping model, however, the average power harvested is meaningfully different at high speeds compared to low speeds, and at high resistances compared to low resistances. The characteristics of devices with nonidentical piezoelectric support structures (called mistuned devices) are investigated numerically. Similar to spinning tuned devices, mistuned devices have multifrequency dynamic response and power harvested. In contrast to tuned devices, high amplitude average power harvested occurs near speeds and base excitation frequencies predicted by resonance diagram.

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