Particle image velocimetry (PIV) of four cylinders with different cross sections were performed in a recirculating water channel at Reynolds numbers of 5000 and 10,000. The cylinders were split into two distinct categories; semicircular and convex-edged triangular (c-triangular) prisms which have a smooth diverging fore-face and a flat, backward facing step aft-face, and a trapezoid which has a flat fore face and a backward-facing step aft-face. The resulting streamwise and transverse velocity vectors (u and v, respectively) were analyzed to provide a qualitative comparison of the bluff body wakes to the circular cylinder, which is the standard upstream stationary body in wake-induced vibration (WIV) energy technology. The Reynolds stresses, turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), mean spanwise vorticity, and the energy in the fluctuating component of the wake were compared. The main findings are: (i) a convex fore-face and a backward-facing step aft face are more effective at converting the flow energy to temporal wake energy (+20%) compared to a circular cylinder, (ii) a trapezoid type shape is less effective at converting flow energy to temporal wake energy (−40%) compared to a circular cylinder, (iii) increasing Reynolds number reduces the efficiency of conversion of upstream flow energy to downstream transverse temporal energy. Utilizing stationary upstream bodies such as the semicircle and the c-triangle can result in concentrating more energy in the fluctuating components for the downstream transversely vibrating bluff body in a WIV system, and hence can realize in more efficient WIV technology.

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