The vortex induced vibrations for aquatic clean energy (VIVACE) converter is a new concept to generate clean and renewable energy from fluid flows such as those abundant in oceans, rivers, or other water resources. The underlying concepts for design, scaling, and operation of VIVACE were introduced in Bernitsas et al., 2008, “VIVACE (Vortex Induced Vibration Aquatic Clean Energy): A New Concept in Generation of Clean and Renewable Energy From Fluid Flow,” ASME J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng., 130(4), p. 041101. In its simplest form, a VIVACE modulo consists of a single rigid cylinder mounted on elastic supports and connected to a power takeoff (PTO) system. The cylinder is placed in a steady unidirectional current and excited in vortex induced vibration (VIV). In this paper, the VIVACE modulo was tested in the Low Turbulence Free-Surface Water Channel of the University of Michigan to demonstrate the concept, generate electricity, measure the power out, and calculate basic benchmarking measures such as energy density. The tests performed were tailored to the particulars of the VIVACE modulo, which dictate that the cylinder operate in VIV under high damping and as high a Reynolds number as possible. At the same time, a broad range of synchronization is required to make VIVACE effective in energy generation in a realistic environment. Due to these requirements, VIV tests have not been performed before in the subspace applicable to the operation of the VIVACE modulo. In the process of extracting fluid kinetic energy and converting it to electricity in the laboratory, for a given set of cylinder-springs-transmission-generator, only the damping used for harnessing electricity was optimized. Even at this early stage of development, for the tested VIVACE modulo, the maximum peak power achieved was Ppeak=0.308×12ρDLL. The corresponding integrated power in that particular test was PVIVACE=0.22×12ρU3DL with theoretical upper limit based on measurements of PULVIVACE=0.3663. Such power was achieved at velocity U=0.840ms=1.63Kn.

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