The researchers proposed a two-degree-of-freedom ocean energy harvesting system

Recently, Liu Jinlong, a 2021 doctoral student in the Department of Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering of Southern University of Science and Technology, and his collaborators proposed a new scheme for the complementary utilization of tidal energy and offshore wind energy for marine energy harvesting. Based on the two-degree-of-freedom fluid-structure interaction dynamic system and electromagnetic/triboelectric energy conversion technology, this scheme can be used for the complementary recovery of tidal energy and offshore wind energy in the marine environment, which will inject new impetus into the development and application of renewable fluid energy. The results were published in Nano Energy.

Research diagram Courtesy of SUSTech

Tidal and offshore wind in the marine environment play an important role in the transformation of the global energy system as abundant sustainable energy sources. In recent years, wind energy and tidal energy harvesting schemes based on flow-induced vibration have been widely studied due to the high efficiency in energy recovery and utilization of low-speed fluids.

The researchers point out that there are still two problems that need to be solved in the current research on renewable energy recovery. On the one hand, there are abundant renewable energy sources in the marine environment, such as solar energy, offshore wind energy, wave energy, tidal energy, temperature difference energy and salinity gradient energy, which should be organically integrated and fully utilized. On the other hand, the inherent intermittent nature of renewable energy and low energy structure flexibility significantly limit the further development and large-scale application of current energy recovery schemes based on a single renewable energy source.

In response, the researchers proposed a two-degree-of-freedom ocean energy harvesting system to recover energy from both tidal and offshore wind energy. According to reports, the energy harvesting system is mainly composed of a two-degree-of-freedom spring oscillator system equipped with a blunt body structure and an electromagnetic or triboelectric energy conversion module. Under the action of currents and offshore winds, the shedding vortex at the trailing edge of the blunt body provides periodic excitation forces for the two degrees of freedom of the system, which in turn causes flow-induced vibrations in the energy harvesting system. Then, the vibration of the two degrees of freedom can drive the corresponding electromagnetic generator or friction nanogenerator to work through the mechanism respectively, thereby generating electrical energy. As a result, the energy harvesting system can continuously power wireless sensor networks for marine environmental monitoring and scientific research.

Compared with the current energy harvesting scheme for single renewable energy, the two-degree-of-freedom ocean energy harvesting scheme proposed in this study shows excellent comprehensive performance in terms of maximum conversion power, energy conversion efficiency, environmental adaptability (incoming flow speed), and energy structure flexibility.

According to reports, the results show the great potential of the two-degree-of-freedom ocean energy harvesting scheme in promoting the practical application of wireless sensor networks, and will also provide new ideas for the development of electromagnetic generators and friction nanogenerators in marine energy recovery. (Source: China Science News, Diao Wenhui)

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