Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Piezoelectric devices., Energy harvesting.
Application of a galloping piezoelectric energy harvester (GPEH) on a small unmanned aerial vehicle is presented. The GPEH is composed of a bluff body on a cantilever with an attached piezoelectric material strip. Incident air induces oscillatory motion of the bluff body and beam, creating oscillatory stress in the piezoelectric strip that generates a current. Modeling the GPEH as a mass-spring system enabled estimating the natural oscillation frequency, activation or galloping speed, and hysteresis range speeds. These values were verified through wind tunnel testing and UAV flight tests with a GPEH mounted at three distances below each wing. Flight speed and wing proximity had the most significant influence on performance. Cruise flight produced the highest voltage of 16.3 volts and a calculated power of 0.0027 W. Adding additional piezoelectric strips with multiple GPEH systems might generate power fro driving sensors.
McConnell, Chad, "Application of galloping piezoelectric energy harvesters on a small unmanned aircraft" (2018). Theses. 260.