Development of a new sustainable elastomeric energy harvester for marine environments

Researchers: Antonio Gil (Swansea University), Raoul van Loon (Swansea University), Lijie Li (Swansea University), Simon Neill (Bangor University), Jan Geert Hiddink (Bangor University)

Antonio Gil, Raoul van Loon, Lijie Li, Simon Neill, Chris Pullin and Jan Geert Hiddink collaborated on a project investigating the feasibility of a cutting-edge energy harvester optimised for a marine environment.

The recent advent of piezoelectric polymers has meant a turning point in the development of piezoelectric devices such as energy harvesters. Antonio Gil carried out supporting work with a PhD student, as part of a successful interdisciplinary proposal awarded within the College of Engineering at Swansea University, with the purpose of supporting this collaborative project.

Initial findings were presented at the 2012 ECCOMAS Conference in Sept 2012 and at the 8th European Solid Mechanics Conference in July 2012 to raise the profile of the research in the international arena. At the same time, Antonio worked with Raoul van Loon on the development of a simplified computational model for a beam energy harvester.

Raoul carried out an extensive literature review of the current existing simplified numerical models in the form of a cantilever subjected to transversal loading. Antonio also worked with Chris Pullin and Lijie Li on experiments testing energy harvesters under laboratory conditions, so as to determine parameters for subsequent computational analysis.

With expertise in marine biology and ocean sciences, Simon Neill and Jan Geert Hiddink have studied the impact of the implementation of these devices within the marine ecosystem.

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