This work concerns a novel concept for energy harvesting (EH) from fluid flows, based on the aeroelastic flutter of elastically-bounded plates immersed in laminar flow. The resulting flapping motions are investigated in order to support the development of centimetric-size EH devices exploiting low wind velocities, with potential application in the autonomous powering of low-power wireless sensor networks used, e.g., for remote environmental monitoring. The problem is studied combining three-dimensional direct numerical simulations exploiting a state-of-the-art immersed boundary method, wind-tunnel experiments on prototypal EH devices, and a reduced-order phenomenological model based on a set of ordinary differential equations. Three key features of the aeroelastic system are investigated: (i) we identify the critical condition for self-sustained flapping using a simple balance between characteristic timescales involved in the problem; (ii) we explore postcritical regimes characterized by regular limit-cycle oscillations, highlighting how to maximize their amplitude and/or frequency and in turns the potential energy extraction; (iii) we consider arrays of multiple devices, revealing for certain arrangements a constructive interference effect that leads to significant performance improvements. These findings lead to an improved characterization of the system and can be useful for the optimal design of EH devices. Moreover, we outline future research directions with the ultimate goal of realizing high-performance networks of numerous harvesters in real-world environmental conditions.
|Titolo della tesi:||Elastically-bounded flapping plates for flow-induced energy harvesting|
|Data di discussione:||6-apr-2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Tesi di dottorato|