Passive Self-tuning Energy Harvester for Rotational Motion

Problem: Conventional resonant vibrational energy harvesters have fixed resonant frequencies and have limited applicability to time-dependent vibrational environments, such as automobile engines or wheels. Technology: This invention proposes an energy harvester for rotational motion that is self-tuned to resonate with the rotational frequency. As the rotation frequency changes, the resonant frequency of the energy harvester is adjusted by passively varying tension on a the vibrating beam. A prototype on a simulated rotating car wheel demonstrated significantly improved performance compared with untuned harvester performance. Christopher Noble crn@mit.edu

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