27 April 2011 Parametric design study of an aeroelastic flutter energy harvester
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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.
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Matthew Bryant, Matthew Bryant, Eric Wolff, Eric Wolff, Ephrahim Garcia, Ephrahim Garcia, } "Parametric design study of an aeroelastic flutter energy harvester", Proc. SPIE 7977, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2011, 79770S (27 April 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.880487; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.880487
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