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Coupled Systems Mechanics
  Volume 2, Number 1, March 2013, pages 53-83

Modeling and analysis of a cliff-mounted piezoelectric sea-wave energy absorption system
G.A. Athanassoulis and K.I. Mamis

Abstract     [Full Text]
    Sea waves induce significant pressures on coastal surfaces, especially on rocky vertical cliffs or breakwater structures (Peregrine 2003). In the present work, this hydrodynamic pressure is considered as the excitation acting on a piezoelectric material sheet, installed on a vertical cliff, and connected to an external electric circuit (on land). The whole hydro/piezo/electric system is modeled in the context of linear wave theory. The piezoelectric elements are assumed to be small plates, possibly of stack configuration, under a specific wiring. They are connected with an external circuit, modeled by a complex impedance, as usually happens in preliminary studies (Liang and Liao 2011). The piezoelectric elements are subjected to thickness-mode vibrations under the influence of incident harmonic water waves. Full, kinematic and dynamic, coupling is implemented along the water-solid interface, using propagation and evanescent modes (Athanassoulis and Belibassakis 1999). For most energetically interesting conditions the long-wave theory is valid, making the effect of evanescent modes negligible, and permitting us to calculate a closed-form solution for the efficiency of the energy harvesting system. It is found that the efficiency is dependent on two dimensionless hydro/piezo/electric parameters, and may become significant (as high as 30 – 50%) for appropriate combinations of parameter values, which, however, corresponds to exotically flexible piezoelectric materials. The existence or the possibility of constructing such kind of materials formulates a question to material scientists.
Key Words
    renewable energy; piezoelectricity; sea wave energy
G.A. Athanassoulis and K.I. Mamis : School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, NTUA, Zografos 15773, Greece

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