Buoys -- Design and construction, Energy storage, Flywheels, Ocean waves, Renewable energy sources
This thesis details the design and optimization of a buoy used to collect renewable energy from ocean waves. The proposed buoy is a point absorber—a device that transforms the kinetic energy of the vertical motion of surface waves into electrical energy. The focus of the research is on the mechanical system used to collect the energy, and methods to improve it for eventual use in an actual wave energy harvester. A flywheel energy storage system was utilized in order to provide an improved power output from the system, even with the intermittent input of force exerted by ocean waves. A series of laboratory prototypes were developed to analyze parameters that are important to the success of the point absorb mechanical system. By introducing a velocity-based load control scheme in conjunction with flywheel energy storage, it was seen that the average power output by the prototype was increased. The generator load is controlled via a relay switch that removes electrical resistance from the generator—this sacrifices time during which power is drawn from the system, but also allows the buoy to move with less resistance. A simulation model was developed in order to analyze the theoretical wave absorber system and optimize the velocity threshold parameters used in the load control. Results indicate that the power output by the system can be substantially improved through the use of a flywheel energy storage control scheme that engages and disengages the electrical load based on the rotational velocity of the flywheel system. The results of the optimization are given for varying-sized generator systems input into the simulation in order to observe the associated trends.
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Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Mechanical Engineering; Computer Aided Mechanical Engineering Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science, Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic
Helkin, Steven Alexander, "Design And Optimization Of A Wave Energy Harvester Utilizing A Flywheel Energy Storage System" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1744.