A hybrid structure of piezoelectric fibers and soft materials as a smart floatable open-water wave energy converter

Sina Baghbani Kordmahale, Jitae Do, Kuang An Chang, Jun Kameoka*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

An open-water wave energy converter (OWEC) made of a new soft platform has been developed by combining piezoelectric macro-fiber composites (MFCs) and a low-cost elastomer. In the past decades, numerous types of water wave energy conversion platform have been developed and investigated, from buoys to overtopping devices. These harvesters mainly use electromagnetic-based generators, and they have faced challenges such as their enormous size, high deployment and maintenance costs, and negative effects on the environment. These problems hinder their practicality and competitiveness. In this paper, a soft open-water wave energy converter is introduced which integrates piezoelectric MFCs and bubble wrap into an elastomer sheet. The performance of the OWEC was investigated in a wave flume as a floatable structure. The maximum 29.7 µW energy harvested from the small OWEC represents a promising energy conversion performance at low frequencies (<2 Hz). The elastomer was able to protect the MFCs and internal electrical connections without any degradation during the experiment. In addition, the OWEC is a foldable structure, which can reduce the deployment costs in real-world applications. The combination of no maintenance, low fabrication cost, low deployment cost, and moderate energy harvesting capability may advance the OWEC platform to its real-world applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1269
JournalMicromachines
Volume12
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Environmentally benign
  • Macro-fiber composite
  • Piezoelectric energy converter
  • Renewable energy
  • Soft material
  • Water wave energy conversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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