January 20, 2023
Conference Paper

Vortex Induced Vibration Test of the WITT Device in a Tidal Channel


Fluid flow around a bluff body causes vibrations as the boundary layer separates and vortices are shed. This phenomenon, called vortex induced vibration (VIV), is minimized in most engineering applications, but can be utilized for power generation. Vortex induced vibration has potential for energy harvesting in low velocity water flows and therefore could open many locations to marine renewable energy. Here we present the results of a field test of a device that utilizes VIV to harvest energy from flow in a tidal channel. The pendulum-type device has been designed to generate electricity from motion around and along three axes. It is named the Whatever Input to Torsion Transfer (WITT) energy device and in this test is mounted on top of a pipe. During the field test, the WITT generated electricity at flow velocities from 0.27 to 2.82 m/s. The field test has proven that the WITT can utilize VIV to produce electricity and charge a battery in tidal flows with velocities as low as 0.27 m/s. In the future, the electricity could be used to charge a battery for ocean observation instruments such as temperature and nitrate sensors. In-situ power generation by the WITT would extend deployment times and increase the frequency of measurements.

Published: January 20, 2023


Branch R.A., R.J. Cavagnaro, A.M. Turpin, J.R. McVey, M. Wickett, M. Wickett, and W. Boult, et al. 2022. Vortex Induced Vibration Test of the WITT Device in a Tidal Channel. In OCEANS 2022, October 17-20, 2022, Hampton Roads, VA, 1-7. Piscataway, New Jersey:IEEE. PNNL-SA-178071. doi:10.1109/OCEANS47191.2022.9977026

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