This paper presents reliability-based design optimization (RBDO) and experimental validation of the purely mechanical nonlinear vibration energy harvester we recently proposed. A bi-stable characteristic was embodied with a pre-stressed curved cantilever substrate on which piezoelectric patches were laminated. The curved cantilever can be simply manufactured by clamping multiple beams with different lengths or by connecting two ends of the cantilever using a coil spring. When vibrating, the inertia of the tip mass activates the curved cantilever to cause snap-through buckling and makes the nature of vibration switch between two equilibrium positions. The reliability-based design optimization study for maximization of power density and broadband energy harvesting performance is performed. The benefit of the proposed design in terms of excellent reliability, design compactness, and ease of implementation is discussed. The prototype is fabricated based on the optimal design result and energy harvesting performance between the linear and nonlinear energy harvesters is compared. The excellent broadband characteristic of the purely mechanical harvester will be validated.

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