Energy harvesting employing non-linear systems offers considerable advantages over linear systems given the broadband resonant response which is favorable for applications involving diverse input vibrations. In this respect, the rich dynamics of bi-stable systems present a promising means for harvesting vibrational energy from ambient sources. Harvesters deriving their bi-stability from thermally induced stresses as opposed to magnetic forces are receiving significant attention as it reduces the need for ancillary components and allows for bio- compatible constructions. However, the design of these bi-stable harvesters still requires further optimization to completely exploit the dynamic behavior of these systems. This study presents a comparison of the harvesting capabilities of non-magnetic, bi-stable composite laminates under variations in the design parameters as evaluated utilizing established power metrics. Energy output characteristics of two bi-stable composite laminate plates with a piezoelectric patch bonded on the top surface are experimentally investigated for variations in the thickness ratio and inertial mass positions for multiple load conditions. A particular design configuration is found to perform better over the entire range of testing conditions which include single and multiple frequency excitation, thus indicating that design optimization over the geometry of the harvester yields robust performance. The experimental analysis further highlights the need for appropriate design guidelines for optimization and holistic performance metrics to account for the range of operational conditions.
Heterogeneity in a lattice system has gained continued attention from researchers due to its ability to support interesting localized dynamics and engineering applications. Most studies on the influence of the defects have been done in a one-dimensional monoatomic chain with both linear and nonlinear interactions. However, analysis of defect dynamics in a lattice under on-site potential is still a rare finding. Recently, extreme wave propagation has been demonstrated theoretically and experimentally on a bi-stable lattice with magnetic inter-site force, featuring quartic on-site potential. In this work, the nonlinear dynamics of introducing engineered defects in the form of mass impurities and inter-site forcing disparities on lattices of bi-stable elements are studied. We investigate the effect of the defect presence on the local wave propagation speed and identify the critical conditions that governs the stable propagation of transition waves. With the control of damping, we further observe a special satellite region, where stable transition of wave with intermediate jumps between the stable states of the local unit cell occurs.
Tailless airplanes with swept wings rely on variations of the spanwise lift distribution to provide controllability in roll, pitch and yaw. Conventionally, this is achieved utilizing multiple control surfaces, such as elevons, on the wing trailing edge. As every flight condition requires different control moments (e.g. to provide pitching moment equilibrium), these surfaces are practically permanently displaced. Due to their nature, causing discontinuities, corners and gaps, they bear aerodynamic penalties, mostly in terms of shape drag. Shape adaptation, by means of chordwise morphing, has the potential of varying the lift of a wing section by deforming its profile in a way that minimizes the resulting drag. Furthermore, as the shape can be varied differently along the wingspan, the lift distribution can be tailored to each specific flight condition. For this reason, tailless aircraft appear as a prime choice to apply morphing techniques, as the attainable benefits are potentially significant. In this work, we present a methodology to determine the optimal planform, profile shape, and morphing structure for a tailless aircraft. The employed morphing concept is based on a distributed compliance structure, actuated by Macro Fiber Composite (MFC) piezoelectric elements. The multidisciplinary optimization is performed considering the static and dynamic aeroelastic behavior of the resulting structure. The goal is the maximization of the aerodynamic efficiency while guaranteeing the controllability of the plane, by means of morphing, in a set of flight conditions.
Nonlinear harvesting devices have been shown to maintain large amplitude oscillations over a wider range of frequencies than their linear counter parts. Central to exploiting the dynamic behaviour for harvesting is the understanding of the cross-well oscillations which involve constant snap-through between the stable states of such systems. Yet the phenomena involving the dynamics of snap-through and their impact in the harvesting characteristics have not been studied in detail. In this paper, the relevant response characteristics for dynamically triggered snap-through of bi-stable composite laminates for energy harvesting are investigated. A nonlinear model for the dynamics of the bi-stable composites is used to study the relation between the properties of the laminate and the acceleration level required for causing snap-through. In particular, the effect of varying the induced stress level on the dynamic response is investigated. The obtained relations provide a tool for designing the excitation level for which broad-band response bi-stable systems is obtained, aiding the design of harvesting devices based on such structures.
Recently, the idea to exploit nonlinearity to achieve broadband energy harvesting has been introduced. Bi-stable systems have been used to realise broadband energy harvesting devices. Amongst these, harvesters constructed with bi-stable composites show great potential due to their rich dynamic behaviour. This paper studies a novel cantilevered configuration for a piezoelectric bi-stable composite device for broadband energy harvesting. The cantilevered configuration allows to exploit high strains developed close to the clamped root, further enhancing the harvesting characteristic of bi-stable composites. Furthermore, the desired broadband dynamics are obtained for lower input amplitudes when compared to previous designs constituting a significant improvement for energy harvesting applications. Several cross-well dynamic behaviours are obtained over a relatively wide range of frequencies with the proposed design. In addition, the performance of the developed concept is investigated using a switching shunt harvesting circuit suitable for conversion of broadband oscillations resulting from the cross-well dynamics exhibited by bi-stable composite laminates showing very good results.