This paper presents an analytical approach for the development of a new wideband piezoelectric energy harvesting system. The proposed model is based on Adomian decomposition method to derive the dynamic response of the general non-uniform smart structures under external environmental excitations over a wide frequency domain efficiently harvesting the subsequent vibrational energy. The steady-state response of a nonlinearly tapered piezoelectric harvester subjected to harmonic base motion is obtained, and the higher potential electromechanical outputs compared with traditional uniform harvester are analytically derived. Afterward, a group of nonlinearly tapered cantilevers with the same volume and length but different taper ratios and surface bonded piezoelectric layers are assembled together in order to build a broadband piezoelectric energy harvester. Through numerical studies, it is proven that with the proposed non-uniform configuration, the new energy harvester design can function effectively and efficiently with high voltage output over a wide frequency range. The designed wideband harvester can automatically activate one of the non-uniform bimorphs to resonate at particular ambient vibration frequencies and eventually reach the maximum electromechanical output. Based on the proposed theoretical model, an optimum structural design for the wideband piezoelectric energy harvester in the required operational frequency range can be efficiently achieved.
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