In the present experimental work, we explore the possibility of using piezoelectric based fluid flow energy harvesters. These harvesters are self-excited and self-sustained in the sense that they can be used in steady uniform flows. The configuration consists of a piezoelectric cantilever beam with a cylindrical tip body which promotes sustainable, aero-elastic structural vibrations induced by vortex shedding and galloping. The structural and aerodynamic properties of the harvester alter the vibration amplitude and frequency of the piezoelectric beam and thus its electrical output. This paper presents results of energy-harvesting tests with one configuration of such a self-excited piezoelectric harvester using a PZT bimorph. In addition to the electrical voltage output, the strain on the surface of beam close to its clamped tip was also measured The measured strain and voltage output were perfectly correlated in the frequency range containing the first natural mode of vibration of the system. It was observed that about 0.24 mW of electrical power can be attained with this harvester in a uniform flow of 28 m/s.

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