Analysis of a planar tensegrity mechanism for ocean wave energy harvesting

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    Tensegrity systems have been used in several disciplines such as architecture, biology, aerospace, mechanics, and robotics during the last 50 years. However, just a few references in literature have stated the possibility of using such systems in ocean or energyrelated applications. This work addresses the kinematic and dynamic analyses of a planar tensegrity mechanism for ocean wave energy harvesting. Ocean wave mechanics and the most important concepts related to fluid-structure interaction are presented. Then, a planar 3 degrees of freedom (3-dof) tensegrity mechanism, based on a morphology defined by Kenneth Snelson in 1960 which is known as "X-frame," is proposed as connecting linkage to transmit wave-generated forces. A geometric approach is used to solve the forward and reverse displacement problems. The theory of screws is used to perform the forward and reverse velocity analyses of the device. The Lagrangian approach is used to deduce the equations of motion considering the interaction between the mechanism and ocean waves. The tensegrity-based mechanism is analyzed using a linear model of ocean waves and its energy harvesting capabilities are compared to a purely heaving device. Results show that the proposed tensegrity configuration allows to harvest 10% more energy than the traditional heaving mechanism used in several wave energy harvesting applications. Therefore, tensegrity systems could play an important role in the expansion of clean energy technologies that help the world's sustainable development.

    Idioma originalInglés
    Número de artículo031015
    PublicaciónJournal of Mechanisms and Robotics
    EstadoPublicada - 17 jun. 2014

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    © 2014 by ASME.


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