Research Papers

Modeling and Testing of a Novel Aeroelastic Flutter Energy Harvester

[+] Author and Article Information
Matthew Bryant

Laboratory for Intelligent Machine Systems, Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853mjb377@cornell.edu

Ephrahim Garcia

Visiting Scientist,  U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528; Laboratory for Intelligent Machine Systems, Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853eg84@cornell.edu

J. Vib. Acoust 133(1), 011010 (Jan 26, 2011) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002788 History: Received February 17, 2010; Revised June 23, 2010; Published January 26, 2011; Online January 26, 2011

This paper proposes a novel piezoelectric energy harvesting device driven by aeroelastic flutter vibrations of a simple pin connected flap and beam. The system is subject to a modal convergence flutter response above a critical wind speed and then oscillates in a limit cycle at higher wind speeds. A linearized analytical model of the device is derived to include the effects of the three-way coupling between the structural, unsteady aerodynamic, and electrical aspects of the system. A stability analysis of this model is presented to determine the frequency and wind speed at the onset of the flutter instability, which dictates the cut-in conditions for energy harvesting. In order to estimate the electrical output of the energy harvester, the amplitude and frequency of the flutter limit cycle are also investigated. The limit cycle behavior is simulated in the time domain with a semi-empirical nonlinear model that accounts for the effects of the dynamic stall over the flap at large deflections. Wind tunnel test results are presented to determine the empirical aerodynamic model coefficients and to characterize the power output and flutter frequency of the energy harvester as functions of incident wind speed.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Photograph of the aeroelastic power harvester design

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Figure 2

Schematic view of the bender and Quickpack piezoelectric patches with dimensions defined

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Figure 3

Section representation of the aeroelastic energy harvester describing the airfoil physical parameters

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Figure 4

Cross section schematic showing coordinate directions for a differential beam strip element

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Figure 5

Stability analysis plot as a function of wind speed for the aeroelastic energy harvester simulated with N=2 cantilever beam modes and M=4 unsteady aerodynamic states. The flutter boundary (dashed vertical lines) represents the cut-in wind speed for energy harvesting.

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Figure 6

Variation in predicted wind speed and flutter frequency at the flutter boundary with number of unsteady aerodynamic states used in the model. All simulations performed with N=2 cantilevered beam modes.

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Figure 7

Observed variation in empirical beam drag coefficient, C2, with incident wind speed

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Figure 8

Simulated time domain limit cycle oscillation response for bender tip deflection, flap rotation, and voltage through resistive load at wind speed U=2.6 m/s and optimized load resistance R=280 kΩ

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Figure 9

Simulated bender tip deflection responses for initial conditions of 0.5 cm (top) and 1.0 cm (bottom) initial deflection at U=2.35 m/s incident wind speed

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Figure 10

Trajectory plots showing transient and limit cycle behaviors for several incident wind speeds simulated over 15 s. From left to right in the top row, the simulated wind speeds are U=2.6, 3.6, 4.8 m/s, and from left to right in the bottom row U=6.0, 6.9, and 7.9 m/s, respectively.

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Figure 11

Static force-deflection experiment results for the piezoelectric bender

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Figure 12

Variation in average power through the optimized resistive load with incident wind speed for experimental result and model prediction

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Figure 13

Flutter frequency variation with incident wind speed for experimental result and model prediction




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