Nonlinear analysis and enhancement of wing-based piezoaeroelastic energy harvesters
KAUST DepartmentNumerical Porous Media SRI Center (NumPor)
Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering (CEMSE) Division
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AbstractWe investigate the level of harvested power from aeroelastic vibrations for an elastically mounted wing supported by nonlinear springs. The energy is harvested by attaching a piezoelectric transducer to the plunge degree of freedom. The considered wing has a low-aspect ratio and hence three dimensional aerodynamic effects cannot be neglected. To this end, the three dimensional unsteady vortex lattice method for the prediction of the unsteady aerodynamic loads is developed. A strong coupling scheme that is based on Hamming's fourth-order predictor-corrector method and accounts for the interaction between the aerodynamic loads and the motion of the wing is employed. The effects of the electrical load resistance, nonlinear torsional spring and eccentricity between the elastic axis and the gravity axis on the level of the harvested power, pitch and plunge amplitudes are investigated for a range of operating wind speeds. The results show that there is a specific wind speed beyond which the pitch motion does not pick any further energy from the incident flow. As such, the displacement in the plunge direction grows significantly and causes enhanced energy harvesting. The results also show that the nonlinear torsional spring plays an important role in enhancing the level of the harvested power. Furthermore, the harvested power can be increased by an order of magnitude by properly choosing the eccentricity and the load resistance. This analysis is helpful in designing piezoaeroelastic energy harvesters that can operate optimally at specific wind speeds. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
JournalJournal of Sound and Vibration