Dielectric elastomer generators (DEGs) are a promising option for the implementation of affordable and reliable sea wave energy converters (WECs), as they show considerable promise in replacing expensive and inefficient power take-off systems with cheap direct-drive generators. This paper introduces a concept of a pressure differential wave energy converter, equipped with a DEG power take-off operating in direct contact with sea water. The device consists of a closed submerged air chamber, with a fluid-directing duct and a deformable DEG power take-off mounted on its top surface. The DEG is cyclically deformed by wave-induced pressure, thus acting both as the power take-off and as a deformable interface with the waves. This layout allows the partial balancing of the stiffness due to the DEG’s elasticity with the negative hydrostatic stiffness contribution associated with the displacement of the water column on top of the DEG. This feature makes it possible to design devices in which the DEG exhibits large deformations over a wide range of excitation frequencies, potentially achieving large power capture in a wide range of sea states. We propose a modelling approach for the system that relies on potential-flow theory and electroelasticity theory. This model makes it possible to predict the system dynamic response in different operational conditions and it is computationally efficient to perform iterative and repeated simulations, which are required at the design stage of a new WEC. We performed tests on a small-scale prototype in a wave tank with the aim of investigating the fluid–structure interaction between the DEG membrane and the waves in dynamical conditions and validating the numerical model. The experimental results proved that the device exhibits large deformations of the DEG power take-off over a broad range of monochromatic and panchromatic sea states. The proposed model demonstrates good agreement with the experimental data, hence proving its suitability and effectiveness as a design and prediction tool.

A broadbanded pressure differential wave energy converter based on dielectric elastomer generators / Righi M.; Moretti G.; Forehand D.; Agostini L.; Vertechy R.; Fontana M.. - In: NONLINEAR DYNAMICS. - ISSN 0924-090X. - ELETTRONICO. - 105:4(2021), pp. 2861-2876. [10.1007/s11071-021-06721-8]

A broadbanded pressure differential wave energy converter based on dielectric elastomer generators

Agostini L.;Vertechy R.;
2021

Abstract

Dielectric elastomer generators (DEGs) are a promising option for the implementation of affordable and reliable sea wave energy converters (WECs), as they show considerable promise in replacing expensive and inefficient power take-off systems with cheap direct-drive generators. This paper introduces a concept of a pressure differential wave energy converter, equipped with a DEG power take-off operating in direct contact with sea water. The device consists of a closed submerged air chamber, with a fluid-directing duct and a deformable DEG power take-off mounted on its top surface. The DEG is cyclically deformed by wave-induced pressure, thus acting both as the power take-off and as a deformable interface with the waves. This layout allows the partial balancing of the stiffness due to the DEG’s elasticity with the negative hydrostatic stiffness contribution associated with the displacement of the water column on top of the DEG. This feature makes it possible to design devices in which the DEG exhibits large deformations over a wide range of excitation frequencies, potentially achieving large power capture in a wide range of sea states. We propose a modelling approach for the system that relies on potential-flow theory and electroelasticity theory. This model makes it possible to predict the system dynamic response in different operational conditions and it is computationally efficient to perform iterative and repeated simulations, which are required at the design stage of a new WEC. We performed tests on a small-scale prototype in a wave tank with the aim of investigating the fluid–structure interaction between the DEG membrane and the waves in dynamical conditions and validating the numerical model. The experimental results proved that the device exhibits large deformations of the DEG power take-off over a broad range of monochromatic and panchromatic sea states. The proposed model demonstrates good agreement with the experimental data, hence proving its suitability and effectiveness as a design and prediction tool.
2021
A broadbanded pressure differential wave energy converter based on dielectric elastomer generators / Righi M.; Moretti G.; Forehand D.; Agostini L.; Vertechy R.; Fontana M.. - In: NONLINEAR DYNAMICS. - ISSN 0924-090X. - ELETTRONICO. - 105:4(2021), pp. 2861-2876. [10.1007/s11071-021-06721-8]
Righi M.; Moretti G.; Forehand D.; Agostini L.; Vertechy R.; Fontana M.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
s11071-021-06721-8.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipo: Versione (PDF) editoriale
Licenza: Licenza per Accesso Aperto. Creative Commons Attribuzione (CCBY)
Dimensione 1.31 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.31 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/869952
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 11
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 8
social impact