Significant efforts are being devoted in order to develop efficient and reliable energy harvesters based on interactions between structures and environmental fluid flows such as wind or marine currents. In this framework, a fully-passive energy harvester of centimetric size employing an elastically bounded wing has been developed. The system exploits the coupled-mode flutter, leading in certain conditions to finite amplitude and self-sustained oscillations. Electrical output power levels up to 15[mW] have been reached by an experimental prototype within a wind range between 2 and 5 [m/s] by means of electromagnetic coupling as the conversion strategy. Focusing on the aeroelastic point of view, it is crucial to investigate how the kinematics (i.e. flapping amplitude and frequency, phase between the pitch and plunge motion DoFs) varies with the main parameters (e.g. wind velocity and wing geometry), in order to identify the optimal conditions for potential harvesting. With this goal in mind, we present and discuss the results for a representative configuration of the device (first without the extraction mechanism), exploring the behavior within the design wind range, combining wind-tunnel experiments, three-dimensional CFD simulations and the development of a quasi-steady phenomenological model. We find that both the amplitude and the frequency of the flapping motion are maximised for a certain wind velocity. Moreover, the phase between pitch and plunge changes abruptly when close to this condition. Hence, we estimate the mechanical power that the wing is able to collect and the Betz efficiency, e.g. the ratio between the latter and the power available in the flow. The mathematical model is then enriched by additional terms mimicking an electrical resistive circuit and predictions are made regarding the extracted power and global efficiency of the system, showing the presence of optimal conditions for which these quantities are maximised. Finally, we outline future challenges in the harvester development towards a realistic deployment.
|Titolo:||FLuttering Energy Harvester for Autonomous Powering (FLEHAP): Aeroelastic characterisation and preliminary performance evaluation|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||04.01 - Contributo in atti di convegno|