Tensegrity systems have been used in several disciplines such as architecture, biology, aerospace, mechanics, and robotics during the last 50 years. However, just a few references in literature have stated the possibility of using such systems in ocean or energy-related applications. This work addresses the kinematic and dynamic analyses of a planar tensegrity mechanism for ocean wave energy harvesting. Ocean wave mechanics and the most important concepts related to fluid–structure interaction are presented. Then, a planar 3 degrees of freedom (3-dof) tensegrity mechanism, based on a morphology defined by Kenneth Snelson in 1960 which is known as “X-frame,” is proposed as connecting linkage to transmit wave-generated forces. A geometric approach is used to solve the forward and reverse displacement problems. The theory of screws is used to perform the forward and reverse velocity analyses of the device. The Lagrangian approach is used to deduce the equations of motion considering the interaction between the mechanism and ocean waves. The tensegrity-based mechanism is analyzed using a linear model of ocean waves and its energy harvesting capabilities are compared to a purely heaving device. Results show that the proposed tensegrity configuration allows to harvest 10% more energy than the traditional heaving mechanism used in several wave energy harvesting applications. Therefore, tensegrity systems could play an important role in the expansion of clean energy technologies that help the world's sustainable development.
Analysis of a Planar Tensegrity Mechanism for Ocean Wave Energy Harvesting
Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received October 21, 2013; final manuscript received March 29, 2014; published online June 17, 2014. Assoc. Editor: J. M. Selig.
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Vasquez, R. E., Crane,, C. D., and Correa, J. C. (June 17, 2014). "Analysis of a Planar Tensegrity Mechanism for Ocean Wave Energy Harvesting." ASME. J. Mechanisms Robotics. August 2014; 6(3): 031015. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4027703
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