Energy transfer between a passing vortex ring and a flexible plate in an ideal quiescent fluid

Jiacheng Hu, Maurizio Porfiri, Sean D. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent advancements in highly deformable smart materials have lead to increasing interest in small-scale energy harvesting research for powering low consumption electronic devices. One such recent experimental study by Goushcha et al. explored energy harvesting from a passing vortex ring by a cantilevered smart material plate oriented parallel to and offset from the path of the ring in an otherwise quiescent fluid. The present study focuses on modeling this experimental study using potential flow to facilitate optimization of the energy extraction from the passing ring to raise the energy harvesting potential of the device. The problem is modeled in two-dimensions with the vortex ring represented as a pair of counter-rotating free vortices. Vortex pair parameters are determined to match the convection speed of the ring in the experiments, as well as the imposed pressure loading on the plate. The plate is approximated as a Kirchhoff-Love plate and represented as a finite length vortex sheet in the fluid domain. The analytical model matches experimental measurements, including the tip displacement, the integrated force along the entire plate length as a function of vortex ring position, and the pressure along the plate. The potential flow solution is employed in a parametric study of the governing dimensionless parameters in an effort to guide the selection of plate properties for optimal energy harvesting performance. Results of the study indicate an optimal set of plate properties for a given vortex ring configuration, in which the time-scale of vortex advection matches that of the plate vibration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114902
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Sep 21 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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