Vibration energy harvesting has been shown as a promising power source for many small-scale applications mainly because of the considerable reduction in the energy consumption of the electronics and scalability issues of the conventional batteries. However, energy harvesters may not be as robust as the conventional batteries and their performance could drastically deteriorate in the presence of uncertainty in their parameters. Hence, study of uncertainty propagation and optimization under uncertainty is essential for proper and robust performance of harvesters in practice. While all studies have focused on expectation optimization, we propose a new and more practical optimization perspective; optimization for the worst-case (minimum) power. We formulate the problem in a generic fashion and as a simple example apply it to a linear piezoelectric energy harvester. We study the effect of parametric uncertainty in its natural frequency, load resistance, and electromechanical coupling coefficient on its worst-case power and then optimize for it under different confidence levels. The results show that there is a significant improvement in the worst-case power of thus designed harvester compared to that of a naively-optimized (deterministically-optimized) harvester.
Ashkan Haji Hosseinloo and Konstantin Turitsyn, "Optimization of vibratory energy harvesters with stochastic parametric uncertainty: a new perspective," Proc. SPIE 9799, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2016, 97991L (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 23, 2016; Published: 15 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2218892.
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