Vibration energy harvester for variable speed rotor applications using passively self-tuned beams

A vibration energy harvester is proposed for rotating systems based on transverse vibrations of an assembly of thin beams and electromagnetic interaction of a carried magnet with a coil of wire. The harvester is designed in a way such that centrifugal forces are utilized to tune the system’s natural frequency to the expected frequency of torsional vibrations. In fact, a novel combination of a tuning mass positioned at the beam’s support and an applied preload are introduced to establish a tuning mechanism that is capable of maintaining resonance along a wide frequency range. The device’s tuning can cover relatively high rotor speeds, overcoming previous limitations on the size and the physics of tuning via axial loads. Moreover, exact expressions of the beams’ mode shapes are taken into account to improve the accuracy of the proposed tuning mechanism. Numerical simulations of the device’s response are carried out for case studies corresponding to different frequency orders. It is shown that the system can maintain a flat power output across a wide range of operating speeds, effectively leading to purely broadband energy harvesting.