A tremendous amount of research has been performed on the design and analysis of vibration energy harvester architectures with the goal of optimizing power output; most studies assume idealized input vibrations without paying much attention to whether such idealizations are broadly representative of real sources. These “idealized input signals” are typically derived from the expected nature of the vibrations produced from a given source. Little work has been done on corroborating these expectations by virtue of compiling a comprehensive list of vibration signals organized by detailed
classifications. Vibration data representing 333 signals were collected from the NiPS Laboratory “Real Vibration”
database, processed, and categorized according to the source of the signal (e.g. animal, machine, etc.), the number of dominant frequencies, the nature of the dominant frequencies (e.g. stationary, band-limited noise, etc.), and other metrics.
By categorizing signals in this way, the set of idealized vibration inputs commonly assumed for harvester input can be
corroborated and refined, and heretofore overlooked vibration input types have motivation for investigation. An initial qualitative analysis of vibration signals has been undertaken with the goal of determining how often a standard linear oscillator based harvester is likely the optimal architecture, and how often a nonlinear harvester with a cubic stiffness function might provide improvement. Although preliminary, the analysis indicates that in at least 23% of cases, a linear harvester is likely optimal and in no more than 53% of cases would a nonlinear cubic stiffness based harvester provide improvement.