Piezoaeroelastic Typical Section for Wind Energy Harvesting

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Abstract

In this paper an electromechanically coupled typical section is modeled for energy harvesting from the aeroelastic oscillations. An airfoil with three degrees of freedom is investigated. Piezoelectric coupling is introduced to the plunge degree-of-freedom and the influence of different load resistances on the overall system behavior is investigated. A free play region is considered in the control surface rotation axis. In the presence of such a concentrated structural nonlinearity, the flow-induced displacements can be harmonic, non-harmonic or chaotic. The presented model can simulate arbitrary airfoil motions as well as represent the nonlinear behavior. The Jones’ approximation to Wagner indicial function is adopted to approximate the aerodynamic loads. An optimal load resistance, which provides both the maximum power and the best passive control of vibration due to the shunt damping effect, is identified. Results show that airflow velocities close to the natural wind are enough to induce self-sustained oscillations and produce persistent power output from scaled piezoaeroelastic generators.