On square-wave-driven stochastic resonance for energy harvesting in a bistable system

Dongxu Su, Rencheng Zheng, Kimihiko Nakano, Matthew P Cartmell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Stochastic resonance is a physical phenomenon through which the throughput of energy within an oscillator excited by a stochastic source can be boosted by adding a small modulating excitation. This study investigates the feasibility of implementing square-wave-driven stochastic resonance to enhance energy harvesting. The motivating hypothesis was that such stochastic resonance can be efficiently realized in a bistable mechanism. However, the condition for the occurrence of stochastic resonance is conventionally defined by the Kramers rate. This definition is inadequate because of the necessity and difficulty in estimating white noise density. A bistable mechanism has been designed using an explicit analytical model which implies a new approach for achieving stochastic resonance in the paper. Experimental tests confirm that the addition of a small-scale force to the bistable system excited by a random signal apparently leads to a corresponding amplification of the response that we now term square-wave-driven stochastic resonance. The study therefore indicates that this approach may be a promising way to improve the performance of an energy harvester under certain forms of random excitation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalAIP Advances
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2014


  • stochastic processes
  • excitation energies
  • permanent magnets
  • oscillators
  • mechanical energy


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