Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



Mechanical Engineering


Open Foam, Turbulence, Harvesting


"Recent studies such as those conducted by Akaydin, Elvin and Andreopoulos in [1] have described and quantified the electrical power that can be extracted from a moving flow by the implementation of energy harvesters. In such study, a flexible cantilevered beam was fitted with a cylindrical prism at the free end and placed within a uniform flow field. Due to the vortex shedding generated by the prism (e.g. Von Karman vortices) the beam was found to oscillate about the undisturbed position. The beam in question was then outfitted with a piezoelectric material in order to translate the transient strain energy found within the beam to electrical energy. Similarly, recent experiments performed in the wind tunnel at CCNY have suggested that energy harvesting can be performed by placing a flexible cantilevered beam within a turbulent boundary layer. The current paper intends to provide a basic understanding of the physics involved by computing the time dependent forces that such cantilevered beam experiences within a turbulent boundary layer. In order to compute drag and lift forces, an inlet boundary condition capable of generating turbulence alongside LES (large eddy simulation) was developed and the flow characteristics that it generated compared with the recycling technique introduced by Lundt [2]. The modeling of the flow under investigation and the corresponding computation of forces were performed utilizing OpenFOAM open source CFD code."



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