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Proceedings Paper

Power and efficiency analysis of a flapping wing wind energy harvester
Author(s): Matthew Bryant; Michael W. Shafer; Ephrahim Garcia
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Paper Abstract

Energy harvesting from flowing fluids using flapping wings and fluttering aeroelastic structures has recently gained significant research attention as a possible alternative to traditional rotary turbines, especially at and below the centimeter scale. One promising approach uses an aeroelastic flutter instability to drive limit cycle oscillations of a flexible piezoelectric energy harvesting structure. Such a system is well suited to miniaturization and could be used to create self-powered wireless sensors wherever ambient flows are available. In this paper, we examine modeling of the aerodynamic forces, power extraction, and efficiency of such a flapping wing energy harvester at a low Reynolds number on the order of 1000. Two modeling approaches are considered, a quasi-steady method generalized from existing models of insect flight and a modified model that includes terms to account to the effects of dynamic stall. The modified model is shown to provide better agreement with CFD simulations of a flapping energy harvester.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 March 2012
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8341, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2012, 83410E (27 March 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.915344
Show Author Affiliations
Matthew Bryant, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Michael W. Shafer, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Ephrahim Garcia, Cornell Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8341:
Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2012
Henry A. Sodano, Editor(s)

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