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Open AccessArticle

Oscillating U-Shaped Body for Underwater Piezoelectric Energy Harvester Power Optimization

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Nuclear Engineering and Fluid Mechanics Department, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, 01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
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Automatic Control and System Engineering Department, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, 01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
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Mechanical Engineering Department, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, 01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2019, 10(11), 737; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10110737
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 28 October 2019 / Accepted: 29 October 2019 / Published: 30 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Transducers: Materials, Devices and Applications)
Vibration energy harvesting (VeH) techniques by means of intentionally designed mechanisms have been used in the last decade for frequency bandwidth improvement under excitation for adequately high-vibration amplitudes. Oil, gas, and water are vital resources that are usually transported by extensive pipe networks. Therefore, wireless self-powered sensors are a sustainable choice to monitor in-pipe system applications. The mechanism, which is intended for water pipes with diameters of 2–5 inches, contains a piezoelectric beam assembled to the oscillating body. A novel U-shaped geometry of an underwater energy harvester has been designed and implemented. Then, the results have been compared with the traditional circular cylinder shape. At first, a numerical study has been carried at Reynolds numbers Re = 3000, 6000, 9000, and 12,000 in order to capture as much as kinetic energy from the water flow. Consequently, unsteady Reynolds Averaged Navier–Stokes (URANS)-based simulations are carried out to investigate the dynamic forces under different conditions. In addition, an Adaptive Differential Evolution (JADE) multivariable optimization algorithm has been implemented for the optimal design of the harvester and the maximization of the power extracted from it. The results show that the U-shaped geometry can extract more power from the kinetic energy of the fluid than the traditional circular cylinder harvester under the same conditions.
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Keywords: energy harvesting; piezoelectric; pipelines; underwater networks; wireless sensor networks; control algorithm energy harvesting; piezoelectric; pipelines; underwater networks; wireless sensor networks; control algorithm
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MDPI and ACS Style

Aramendia, I.; Saenz-Aguirre, A.; Boyano, A.; Fernandez-Gamiz, U.; Zulueta, E. Oscillating U-Shaped Body for Underwater Piezoelectric Energy Harvester Power Optimization. Micromachines 2019, 10, 737.

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