In recent decades, the technique of piezoelectric energy harvesting has drawn a great deal of attention since it is a promising method to convert vibrational energy to electrical energy to supply lower-electrical power consumption devices. The most commonly used configuration for energy harvesting is the piezoelectric cantilever beam. Due to the inability of linear energy harvesting to capture broadband vibrations, most researchers have been focusing on broadband performance enhancement by introducing nonlinear phenomena into the harvesting systems. Previous studies have often focused on the symmetric potential harvesters excited in a fixed direction and the influence of the gravity of the oscillators was neglected. However, it is difficult to attain a completely symmetric energy harvester in practice. Furthermore, the gravity of the oscillator due to the change of installation angle will also exert a dramatic influence on the power output. Therefore, this paper experimentally investigates the influence of gravity due to bias angle on the output performance of asymmetric potential energy harvesters under harmonic excitation. An experimental system is developed to measure the output voltages of the harvesters at different bias angles. Experimental results show that the bias angle has little influence on the performance of linear and monostable energy harvesters. However, for an asymmetric potential bistable harvester with sensitive nonlinear restoring forces, the bias angle influences the power output greatly due to the effect of gravity. There exists an optimum bias angle range for the asymmetric potential bistable harvester to generate large output power in a broader frequency range. The reason for this phenomenon is that the influence of gravity due to bias angle will balance the nonlinear asymmetric potential function in a certain range, which could be applied to improve the power output of asymmetric bistable harvesters.

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