Nonlinear Dynamics

, Volume 67, Issue 2, pp 925–939 | Cite as

Modeling and analysis of piezoaeroelastic energy harvesters

Original Paper


This work investigates the influence of structural and aerodynamic nonlinearities on the dynamic behavior of a piezoaeroelastic system. The system is composed of a rigid airfoil supported by nonlinear torsional and flexural springs in the pitch and plunge motions, respectively, with a piezoelectric coupling attached to the plunge degree of freedom. The analysis shows that the effect of the electrical load resistance on the flutter speed is negligible in comparison to the effects of the linear spring coefficients. The effects of aerodynamic nonlinearities and nonlinear plunge and pitch spring coefficients on the system’s stability near the bifurcation are determined from the nonlinear normal form. This is useful to characterize the effects of different parameters on the system’s output and ensure that subcritical or “catastrophic” bifurcation does not take place. Numerical solutions of the coupled equations for two different configurations are then performed to determine the effects of varying the load resistance and the nonlinear spring coefficients on the limit-cycle oscillations (LCO) in the pitch and plunge motions, the voltage output and the harvested power.


Energy harvesting Piezoaeroelastic Nonlinear analysis Normal form 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Engineering Science and MechanicsVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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