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Renewable energy harvesting from water flow

Kong, Haonan, Roussinova, Vesselina, Stoilov, Vesselin
TheInternational journal of environmental studies 2019 v.76 no.1 pp. 84-101
clean energy, differential equation, electricity, energy density, geometry, hydroelectric power, kinetic energy, models, turbulent flow, vibration, water flow
The hydrokinetic energy of flowing water is plentiful, environment-friendly, renewable and can be harvested. This paper reports a new energy harvesting system using vortex-induced vibration (VIV). The proposed convertor harvests vibrations of a bluff body resulting from interaction of the alternating vortices created by the unsteady separation. These vortices are shed from the sides of the bluff body and form a pattern in the wake known as the von Kármán vortex street. The vortices create unsteady loading and induce vibrations with a predictable frequency and amplitude. Assisted by the bluff body with specific geometry and piezoelectric generators, the kinetic energy of the water flow can be converted into mechanical vibrations and electrical energy. In order to maximise the output energy of the harvester, the natural frequency of the mechanical system needs to lock into the frequency of the VIVs. Thus, the geometry of the bluff body has to be optimised to match the natural frequency of the convertor. This study examines the conceptual design of the physical model. The fluid–structure interaction model is applied to study the preliminary design. The maximum energy density that can be extracted by the proposed convertor from the water flow with velocities from 0.2 to 1 m/s is also estimated.Abbreviations: 1.CFD Computational Fluid Dynamics; 2.DC Direct Current (electricity); 3.FIM Fluid Induced Motion; 4.ODE Ordinary Differential Equation; 5.PTC Passive Turbulence Control; 6.VIV Vortex Induced Vibration; 7.VIVACE Vortex Induced Vibration Aquatic Clean Energy; 8.2D Two Dimensional