Parametric analysis of fluidic energy harvesters in grid turbulence

Amir H. Danesh-Yazdi, Niell Elvin, Yiannis Andreopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Even though it is omnipresent in nature, there has not been much research in the literature involving turbulence as an energy source for piezoelectric fluidic harvesters. In the present work, a grid-generated turbulence forcing function model which we derived previously is employed in the single degree-of-freedom electromechanical equations to find the power output and tip displacement of piezoelectric cantilever beams. Additionally, we utilize simplified, deterministic models of the turbulence forcing function to obtain closed-form expressions for the power output. These theoretical models are studied using experiments that involve separately placing a hot-wire anemometer probe and a short PVDF beam in flows where turbulence is generated by means of passive and semi-passive grids. From a parametric study of the deterministic models, we show that a white noise forcing function best mimics the experimental data. Furthermore, our parametric study of the response spectrum of a generic fluidic harvester in grid-generated turbulent flow shows that optimum power output is attained for beams placed closer to the grid with a low natural frequency and damping ratio and a large electromechanical coupling coefficient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2757-2773
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering


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