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Proceedings Paper

Parametric design study of an aeroelastic flutter energy harvester
Author(s): Matthew Bryant; Eric Wolff; Ephrahim Garcia
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Paper Abstract

This paper investigates a novel mechanism for powering wireless sensors or low power electronics by extracting energy from an ambient fluid flow using a piezoelectric energy harvester driven by aeroelastic flutter vibrations. The energy harvester makes use of a modal convergence flutter instability to generate limit cycle bending oscillations of a cantilevered piezoelectric beam with a small flap connected to its free end by a revolute joint. The critical flow speed at which destabilizing aerodynamic effects cause self-excited vibrations of the structure to emerge is essential to the design of the energy harvester. This value sets the lower bound on the operating wind speed and frequency range of the system. A system of coupled equations that describe the structural, aerodynamic, and electromechanical aspects of the system are used to model the system dynamics. The model uses unsteady aerodynamic modeling to predict the aerodynamic forces and moments acting on the structure and to account for the effects of vortices shed by the flapping wing, while a modal summation technique is used to model the flexible piezoelectric structure. This model is applied to examine the effects on the cut-in wind speed of the system when several design parameters are tuned and the size and mass of the system is held fixed. The effects on the aeroelastic system dynamics and relative sensitivity of the flutter stability boundary are presented and discussed. Experimental wind tunnel results are included to validate the model predictions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 April 2011
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7977, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2011, 79770S (27 April 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.880487
Show Author Affiliations
Matthew Bryant, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Eric Wolff, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Ephrahim Garcia, Cornell Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7977:
Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2011
Mehrdad N. Ghasemi-Nejhad, Editor(s)

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