Researchers have performed theoretical investigations of flow induced limit cycle oscillations (LCOs) of tensioned ribbons. Furthermore, attempts have been made to tap into the energy harvesting capability of such ribbons, owing to its structural simplicity, low weight and ease of fabrication. However, in order to tune the ribbon to perform optimally at a given location, a robust, reliable model of the ribbon is essential to predict the limit cycle behavior. The model needs validation across a broad spectrum of its operating envelope based on experimentally obtained results. This paper seeks to provide experimental data for a sample tensioned ribbon in cross flow to serve as basis for validation of an aeroelastic model. This paper experimentally characterizes a PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) ribbon of aspect ratio 18 across a range of applied axial preload tension and wind speeds.
A multifunctional compliant structure is proposed that can harvest electrical power from both incident sunlight and ambient mechanical energy including wind flow or vibration. The proposed energy harvesting device consists of a slender, ribbon-like, flexible thin film solar cell that is laminated with piezoelectric patches at either ends and mounted in the cross flow of wind in a clamped-clamped end condition with an adjustable axial preload. Taking this motivation forward a system model of the energy harvester is developed which captures the structural response of the solar ribbon and couples it with Theodorsen unsteady aerodynamics to predict the flutter boundary conditions as a function of applied axial preload tension. The model also accounts for geometric and material discontinuities, by effective use of Transfer Matrix Method (TMM) modeling technique both in bending and torsional degrees of freedom. This paper also derives TMM technique for torsional vibrations with an applied axial load from first principles, verifies the method and presents its applicability for the proposed energy harvester. The paper also points out that the flutter instability arises out of different structural modes at different values applied axial tension, with the help of a sample modal convergence plot. The analysis also presents the possibility to tune the solar ribbon to operate at an optimal reduced frequency by adjusting the applied axial preload.
This paper proposes a multifunctional compliant structure that can harvest electrical power from both incident sunlight and ambient mechanical energy including wind flow or vibration. The energy harvesting device consists of a slender, ribbon-like, flexible thin film solar cell that is laminated with piezoelectric patches. The harvester is mounted in longitudinal tension and subjected to a transverse wind flow to excite flow-induced aeroelastic vibrations. This paper formulates an analytic model of the bending dynamics of the device. We present a Transfer Matrix formulation that also accounts for the changes in natural frequencies and mode shapes of the system when subjected to axial loads in a beam. It also observed that mode shape obtained using TMM formulation shows numerical stability even for very high tensile loads providing results consistent with the geometric boundary conditions applied at the ends of a beam. This article also discusses about structurally modeling a piezo - solar energy harvester using TMM methodology, where a thin clampedclamped solar film is bonded with piezo patches having a much higher bending stiffness. Additionally, the effect of axial tension on the mode shape of the thin host structure of the piezo-solar ribbon is presented and it is shown how this tension can be used advantageously to affect the strain distribution of the entire structure and introduce higher strains at the piezo patches.