The harvesting of flow energy by exploiting aeroelastic and hydroelastic vibrations has received growing attention over the last few years. The goal in this research field is to generate low-power electricity from flow-induced vibrations of scalable structures involving a proper transduction mechanism for wireless applications ranging from manned/unmanned aerial vehicles to civil infrastructure systems located in high wind areas. The fundamental challenge is to enable geometrically small flow energy harvesters while keeping the cut-in speed (lowest flow speed that induces persistent oscillations) low. An effective design with reduced cut-in speed is known to be the T-shaped cantilever arrangement that consists of a horizontal piezoelectric cantilever with a perpendicular vertical beam attachment at the tip. The direction of incoming flow is parallel to the horizontal cantilever and perpendicular to the vertical and symmetric tip attachment. Vortex-induced vibration resulting from flow past the tip attachment is the source of the aeroelastic response. For a given width of the T-shaped harvester with fixed thickness parameters, an important geometric parameter is the length ratio of the tip attachment to the cantilever. In this paper we investigate the effect of this geometric parameter on the piezoaeroelastic response of a T-shaped flow energy harvester. A controlled desktop wind tunnel system is used to characterize the electrical and mechanical response characteristics for broad ranges of flow speed and electrical load resistance using different vertical tip attachment lengths for the same horizontal piezoelectric cantilever. The variations of the electrical power output and cut-in speed with changing head length are reported along with an investigation into the electroaeroelastic frequency response spectra.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.