Daniel Geiyer’s work focuses on improving the operating bandwidth of energy harvesters using piezoelectric materials. Typical piezoelectric energy harvester technology is only efficient at resonance excitation seen in highly specific environments. Daniel and his supervisor, Dr. Jeffrey L. Kauffman, are working on finding a way to broaden the operating bandwidth using nonlinear phenomena to target more dynamic environments for application.
Whereas other researchers in nonlinear harvesting consider the disorder of chaos undesirable, Daniel’s work challenges this misconception by embracing chaotic oscillations and using a low power controller to stabilize a desired trajectory within a chaotic attractor. The flexibility provided through real time updates allows the algorithm to maintain a large displacement orbit across a wide range of excitation frequencies, and ensures a net positive power output of the harvesting system.
An added benefit is that the system model, desired trajectory, and control perturbation can be prescribed solely from a single measured state of the system. This then leads Daniel’s team closer to their goal of creating an ideal harvesting device independent of prior tuning.