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An Experimental and Computational Study on Inverted Flag Dynamics for Simultaneous Wind–Solar Energy Harvesting

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School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, University of Manchester, George Begg Building, Sackville Street, Manchester M1 3BB, UK
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Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, ESPOL, Facultad de Ingeniería en Mecánica y Ciencias de la Producción, Campus Gustavo Galindo Km 30.5 Vía Perimetral, Guayaquil P.O. Box 09-01-5863, Ecuador
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Fluids 2019, 4(2), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/fluids4020087
Received: 12 April 2019 / Revised: 1 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 11 May 2019
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Abstract

This paper presents results from experiments and simplified numerical simulations on the flow-induced dynamics and power generation of inverted flags that combine flexible piezoelectric strips with photovoltaic cells to simultaneously harvest kinetic wind energy and solar radiant energy. Experiments were conducted in a wind tunnel under controlled wind excitation and light exposure, focusing in particular on the dynamics and power generation of the inverted flag harvester. Numerical simulations were carried out using a lattice-Boltzmann fluid solver coupled with a finite element structural solver via the immersed-boundary method, focusing in particular on minimizing the simulation run time. The power generated during the tests shows that the proposed inverted flag harvester is a promising concept, capable of producing enough power (on the order of 1 mW) to supply low-power electronic devices in a range of applications where distributed power generation is needed. Notwithstanding key simplifications implemented in the numerical model to achieve a fast execution, simulations and measurements are in good agreement, confirming that the lattice-Boltzmann method is a viable and time-effective alternative to classic Navier–Stokes-based solvers when dealing with strongly coupled fluid–structure interaction problems characterized by large structural displacements. View Full-Text
Keywords: inverted flag; fluid–structure interaction; experiment; simulation; energy harvesting; wind energy; solar energy; lattice Boltzmann; flexible structure inverted flag; fluid–structure interaction; experiment; simulation; energy harvesting; wind energy; solar energy; lattice Boltzmann; flexible structure
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Cioncolini, A.; Nabawy, M.R.; Silva-Leon, J.; O’Connor, J.; Revell, A. An Experimental and Computational Study on Inverted Flag Dynamics for Simultaneous Wind–Solar Energy Harvesting. Fluids 2019, 4, 87.

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