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Nonlinear Phenomena for Energy Harvesting

Prof. Brian Mann
Duke University, USA


While research over the past decade has primarily focused on inertial generators that operate in a linear regime, recent work suggests that designing a harvester to operate in a nonlinear regime can improve the harvester’s performance.  More specifically, several research groups are now investigating the use of nonlinearities to extend the bandwidth, broaden the frequency spectrum, and/or to facilitate tuning.  These efforts take aim at overcoming the limitations associated with the use of a linear oscillator, which can only perform well over a narrow band of frequencies. 

This talk will consider the performance and robustness of energy harvesters with linear or nonlinear restoring forces, i.e. hardening, softening, and bistable systems.  Tuning the nonlinear harvesters to outperform their linear counterpart is an area of primary interest.  I will discuss results for harmonic and random excitation.  


Biographical Information


Dr. Brian Mann is an endowed Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Duke University.  He received his BS degree in 1996 from the University of Missouri prior to accepting a position with The Boeing Company.  Three years later, he accepted a position in the automotive industry with DaimlerChrysler and earned a M.S. degree at Washington University in St. Louis. Upon deciding to return for his D.Sc. degree, he was awarded the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.  He completed his D.Sc. degree at Washington University in 2003 and has held faculty positions at the University of Florida, University of Missouri, and Duke University.  He has received several prestigious early career awards, such as the NSF CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, the 2007 SAE Ralph Teetor Educator Award, and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award.  His present research interests include innovative applications of nonlinear systems theory, energy harvesting, and investigating the stabilizing/destabilizing influence of time delays in systems.
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