Mode shapes in the design of mechanical energy harvesters, as a means of performance increase, have been largely overlooked. Currently, the vast majority of energy harvester designs employ some variation of a single-degree-of-freedom cantilever, and the mode shapes of such beams are well known. This is especially true for the first bending mode, which is almost exclusively the chosen vibration mode for energy harvesting. Two-dimensional beam shapes (those which curve, meander, spiral, etc., in a plane) have recently gained research interest, as they offer freedom to modify the vibration characteristics of the harvester beam for achieving higher power density. In this study, the second bending mode shape of the "Elephant" two-dimensional beam shape is examined, and its interaction with the first bending mode is evaluated. A combinatory mode shape created by using mass loading structural modification to lower the second bending modal frequency was found to interact with the first bending mode. This is possible since the first two bending modes do not share common areas of displacement. The combined mode shape is shown to produce the most power of any of the considered mode shapes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)