This paper presents a design study of a miniaturized broadband nonlinear vibration energy harvester (VEH) with piecewise-linear restoring force based on a mechanically-sprung resonator with stoppers. It is commonly recognized that a VEH based on a nonlinearly-sprung resonator can show broadband frequency characteristics while keeping its maximum power performance due to its bent resonance peak. The resonator to be investigated in this study consists of a magnet composite as a mass moving through an induction coil, two planar springs, and mechanical stoppers. The magnet composite is comprised of two repelling cylindrical magnets and a steel disk between them, all encapsulated in a thin stainless-steel cylinder. The planar springs with spiral-like shape are respectively connected to the both ends of the magnet composite so that they provide soft linear stiffness in a compact size. The mechanical stoppers installed to constrain the deformation of the spring give the resonator piecewise-linear hardening characteristics which effectively broaden the resonance band. In this study, the prototype VEH developed in the previous study is presented, and the gaps between the springs and stoppers are adjusted so that the resultant piecewise-linear restoring force shows symmetric or asymmetric property with respect to the equilibrium point. Experimental studies and analyses are carried out to examine the performance of the presented VEH in terms of the frequency response. The comparison of three different configurations of the stopper illustrates how the asymmetry in the bilinear restoring force affects the shape of the resonance peak. It is also suggested that the asymmetry may help the VEH operate in broader band by exploiting its ability of tailoring the resonance characteristics, which still needs further investigation.

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