Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 291–304 | Cite as

Wake of a cylinder: a paradigm for energy harvesting with piezoelectric materials

  • H. D. Akaydın
  • N. Elvin
  • Y. AndreopoulosEmail author
Research Article


Short-length piezoelectric beams were placed in the wake of a circular cylinder at high Reynolds numbers to evaluate their performance as energy generators. The coherent vortical structures present in this flow generate a periodic forcing on the beam which when tuned to its resonant frequency produces maximum output voltage. There are two mechanisms that contribute to the driving forcing of the beam. The first mechanism is the impingement of induced flow by the passing vortices on one side of the beam, and the second is the low pressure core region of the vortices which is present at the opposite side of the beam. The sequence of these two mechanisms combined with the resonating conditions of the beam generated maximum energy output which was also found to vary with the location in the wake. The maximum power output was measured when the tip of the beam is about two diameters downstream of the cylinder. This power drops off the center line of the wake and decays with downstream distance as (x/D)−3/2.


Vortex Shear Layer Circular Cylinder Piezoelectric Material Strouhal Number 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The present work is sponsored by the Michael Pope Fund for Energy Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringThe City College of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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