Energy harvesting from ocean current: a bio-inspired technique

Project: Research

Project Details


Extraction of the renewable energy rapidly increases because of the recent research focus on ocean and wind energy. The ocean occupies 70% of the earths surface and water is 1000 times heavier than air. This abundance nature and high density of water makes it superior for power generation capability over air. The ocean energy is present in two forms, i.e., waves in the vertical direction and currents in horizontal direction. However, former is seasonal or weather dependent and the latter is persistent. Energy can be harnessed continuously from horizontal currents by employing alternating lift force technologies. Fluid flow over structures (i.e., foils, circular, square, rectangular cylinders) produces alternating lift force due to complex fluid-structure interactions. The lift force generates vibration of the structure. Flow-induced vibration (FIV) involves different phenomena such as vortex-induced and galloping vibrations. Kinetic energy of a violently vibrating structure or structures can be converted into electricity by running the generator. Study suggests that fish can utilize ocean currents for thrust benefits, far more efficiently than the traditional rotary turbines. We therefore will use fish like structures NACA0012 hydrofoil. Brief objectives include (i) study of flow-induced oscillations and parameters that are responsible for torsional galloping, (ii) study of wake structures and shear-layer/vortex interaction to assimilate underlying physics behind the galloping, and (iii) estimation of energy extraction from the flow and finding the optimum condition for two airfoils in staggered arrangement.
Effective start/end date1/04/201/04/23


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