Contact-less wind turbine utilizing piezoelectric bimorphs with magnetic actuation

Scott Bressers, Dragan Avirovik, Michael Lallart, D. J. Inman, Shashank Priya

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

20 Scopus citations


The demand for efficient small-scale wind harvester is continually increasing in order to meet the local power needs for applications ranging from wireless sensor networks to charging of mobile devices. The efficiency of wind turbines is dependent upon several structural variables including factional contacts. In order to overcome the problem of gearing and losses in mechanical contacts, we propose here a novel small-scale windmill design that utilizes magnetic attractive and repulsive force to create mechanical oscillation in piezoelectric bimorphs which is then converted into electric charge through direct piezoelectric effect. This contact-less wind turbine has several advantages including operation at much lower wind speeds and longer life span. The prototype was fabricated as a vertical-axis wind turbine featuring a modular Sarvonius rotor. Characterization was performed by utilizing several configurations for this modular rotor. Output power magnitude for steady-state operation in wind speeds of 2-10 mph was used to compare the performance of various configurations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStructural Dynamics - Proceedings of the 28th IMAC, A Conference on Structural Dynamics, 2010
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages11
EditionPART 1
ISBN (Print)9781441998330
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameConference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series
NumberPART 1
ISSN (Print)2191-5644
ISSN (Electronic)2191-5652

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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