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Exploiting a Tail Fin to Improve the Performance of Galloping Flow Energy Harvesters

[+] Author Affiliations
James H. Noel, Mohammed F. Daqaq

Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Paper No. DETC2016-59925, pp. V006T09A046; 7 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 6: 12th International Conference on Multibody Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics, and Control
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, August 21–24, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5018-3
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Flow energy harvesters (FEHs) have recently emerged as a major player in the field of micro-power generation. Such devices are designed to harness energy from a dynamic flow field, typically wind, in order to power remote, sub-milliwatt consumption sensors that are hard to access or maintain. Previous research efforts have focused on harnessing flow energy under nearly steady conditions where measurable variations in the flow speed occur at a much longer time scale than the time constant of the harvester itself. Under such conditions, the nature of the harvester’s transient response is irrelevant and does not constitute a critical performance criterion. However, since gusts of wind also contain a significant amount of energy, designing FEHs to have a fast transient response is essential to capture the maximum possible energy from the flow. To address this critical issue, we propose a galloping piezoelectric energy harvester consisting of piezoelectric cantilever beam with a modified bluff body mounted at its tip. Square, trapezoid, and triangle bluff bodies were tested, each augmented with a tail fin to enhance the transient response of the harvester. It is shown experimentally that the settling time of the response and the steady state output power can be improved substantially when the fin is added.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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