This paper introduces the analysis and design of a wave energy converter (WEC) that is equipped with a novel kind of electrostatic power take-off system, known as dielectric elastomer generator (DEG). We propose a modelling approach which relies on the combination of nonlinear potential-flow hydrodynamics and electro-hyperelastic theory. Such a model makes it possible to predict the system response in operational conditions, and thus it is employed to design and evaluate a DEG-based WEC that features an effective dynamic response. The model is validated through the design and test of a small-scale prototype, whose dynamics is tuned with waves at tank-scale using a set of scaling rules for the DEG dimensions introduced here in order to comply with Froude similarity laws. Wave-tank tests are conducted in regular and irregular waves with a functional DEG system that is controlled using a realistic prediction-free strategy. Remarkable average performance in realistically scaled sea states has been recorded during experiments, with peaks of power output of up to 3.8 W, corresponding to hundreds of kilowatts at full-scale. The obtained results demonstrated the concrete possibility of designing DEG-based WEC devices that are conceived for large-scale electrical energy production.

Modelling and testing of a wave energy converter based on dielectric elastomer generators

Vertechy R.;
2019

Abstract

This paper introduces the analysis and design of a wave energy converter (WEC) that is equipped with a novel kind of electrostatic power take-off system, known as dielectric elastomer generator (DEG). We propose a modelling approach which relies on the combination of nonlinear potential-flow hydrodynamics and electro-hyperelastic theory. Such a model makes it possible to predict the system response in operational conditions, and thus it is employed to design and evaluate a DEG-based WEC that features an effective dynamic response. The model is validated through the design and test of a small-scale prototype, whose dynamics is tuned with waves at tank-scale using a set of scaling rules for the DEG dimensions introduced here in order to comply with Froude similarity laws. Wave-tank tests are conducted in regular and irregular waves with a functional DEG system that is controlled using a realistic prediction-free strategy. Remarkable average performance in realistically scaled sea states has been recorded during experiments, with peaks of power output of up to 3.8 W, corresponding to hundreds of kilowatts at full-scale. The obtained results demonstrated the concrete possibility of designing DEG-based WEC devices that are conceived for large-scale electrical energy production.
Moretti G.; Papini G.P.R.; Daniele L.; Forehand D.; Ingram D.; Vertechy R.; Fontana M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/710436
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