The concept of power flow, which has been found to be a powerful tool in the dynamic analysis of complex systems with conservative connecting elements, is extended to the case of nonconservatively coupled mechanical or structural systems. In order to avoid any ambiguity in the definition of power flow in this situation, the nonconservatively coupled oscillators are considered as a limiting case of oscillators with conservative connections. Through the introduction of dissipative power and penetrating power flow, this approach is shown to produce a physical consistent formulation. Some important and distinguishing properties of this formulation are demonstrated and discussed through numerical examples.

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