Nonlinear limit cycle oscillations of an aeroelastic energy harvester are exploited for enhanced piezoelectric power generation from aerodynamic flows. Specifically, a flexible beam with piezoelectric laminates is excited by a uniform axial flow field in a manner analogous to a flapping flag such that the system delivers power to an electrical impedance load. Fluid-structure interaction is modeled by augmenting a system of nonlinear equations for an electroelastic beam with a discretized vortex-lattice potential flow model. Experimental results from a prototype aeroelastic energy harvester are also presented. Root mean square electrical power on the order of 2.5 mW was delivered below the flutter boundary of the test apparatus at a comparatively low wind speed of 27 m/s and a chord normalized limit cycle amplitude of 0.33. Moreover, subcritical limit cycles with chord normalized amplitudes of up to 0.46 were observed. Calculations indicate that the system tested here was able to access over 17% of the flow energy to which it was exposed. Methods for designing aeroelastic energy harvesters by exploiting nonlinear aeroelastic phenomena and potential improvements to existing relevant aerodynamic models are also discussed.
- Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
Aeroelastic Limit Cycles as a Small Scale Energy Source
Dunnmon, JA, Stanton, SC, Mann, BP, & Dowell, EH. "Aeroelastic Limit Cycles as a Small Scale Energy Source." Proceedings of the ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. Volume 4: 8th International Conference on Multibody Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics, and Control, Parts A and B. Washington, DC, USA. August 28–31, 2011. pp. 1181-1190. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/DETC2011-47002
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