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Proceedings Paper

Toward efficient aeroelastic energy harvesting: device performance comparisons and improvements through synchronized switching
Author(s): Matthew Bryant; Alexander D. Schlichting; Ephrahim Garcia
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents experimental energy harvesting efficiency analysis of a piezoelectric device driven to limit cycle oscillations by an aeroelastic flutter instability. Wind tunnel testing of the flutter energy harvester was used to measure the power extracted through a matched resistive load as well as the variation in the device swept area over a range of wind speeds. The efficiency of this energy harvester was shown to be maximized at a wind speed of about 2.4 m/s, which corresponds to a limit cycle oscillation (LCO) frequency that matches the first natural frequency of the piezoelectric structure. At this wind speed, the overall system efficiency was 2.6%, which exceeds the peak efficiency of other comparably sized oscillator-based wind energy harvesters using either piezoelectric or electromagnetic transduction. Active synchronized switching techniques are proposed as a method to further increase the overall efficiency of this device by both boosting the electrical output and also reducing the swept area by introducing additional electrical energy dissipation. Real-time peak detection and switch control is the major technical challenge to implementing such active power electronics schemes in a practical system where the wind speed and the corresponding LCO frequency are not generally known or constant. A promising microcontroller (MCU) based peak detector is implemented and tested over a range of operating wind speeds.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 April 2013
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8688, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2013, 868807 (10 April 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2009818
Show Author Affiliations
Matthew Bryant, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Alexander D. Schlichting, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Ephrahim Garcia, Cornell Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8688:
Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2013
Henry Sodano, Editor(s)

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