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Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(5), 141; doi:10.3390/app6050141

Coupling Motion and Energy Harvesting of Two Side-by-Side Flexible Plates in a 3D Uniform Flow

†,* ,
and
State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrea Paglietti
Received: 10 April 2016 / Revised: 25 April 2016 / Accepted: 4 May 2016 / Published: 10 May 2016

Abstract

The fluid-structure interaction problems of two side-by-side flexible plates with a finite aspect ratio in a three-dimensional (3D) uniform flow are numerically studied. The plates’ motions are entirely passive under the force of surrounding fluid. By changing the aspect ratio and transverse distance, the coupling motions, drag force and energy capture performance are analyzed. The mechanisms underlying the plates’ motion and flow characteristics are discussed systematically. The adopted algorithm is verified and validated by the simulation of flow past a square flexible plate. The results show that the plate’s passive flapping behavior contains transverse and spanwise deformation, and the flapping amplitude is proportional to the aspect ratio. In the side-by-side configuration, three distinct coupling modes of the plates’ motion are identified, including single-plate mode, symmetrical flapping mode and decoupled mode. The plate with a lower aspect ratio may suffer less drag force and capture less bending energy than in the isolated situation. The optimized selection for obtaining higher energy conversion efficiency is the plate flapping in single-plate mode, especially the plate with a higher aspect ratio. The findings of this work provide several new physical insights into the understanding of fish schooling and are expected to inspire the developments of underwater robots or energy harvesters. View Full-Text
Keywords: three-dimensional simulation; fluid-structure interaction; passive flapping; flexible plates; energy harvesting three-dimensional simulation; fluid-structure interaction; passive flapping; flexible plates; energy harvesting
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Dong, D.; Chen, W.; Shi, S. Coupling Motion and Energy Harvesting of Two Side-by-Side Flexible Plates in a 3D Uniform Flow. Appl. Sci. 2016, 6, 141.

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