Hydroelectromechanical modelling of a piezoelectric wave energy converter

E. Renzi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the hydroelectromechanical-coupled dynamics of a piezoelectric wave energy converter. The converter is made of a flexible bimorph plate, clamped at its ends and forced to motion by incident ocean surface waves. The piezoceramic layers are connected in series and transform the elastic motion of the plate into useful electricity by means of the piezoelectric effect. By using a distributed-parameter analytical approach, we couple the linear piezoelectric constitutive equations for the plate with the potential-flow equations for the surface water waves. The resulting system of governing partial differential equations yields a new hydroelectromechanical dispersion relation, whose complex roots are determined with a numerical approach. The effect of the piezoelectric coupling in the hydroelastic domain generates a system of short-and long-crested weakly damped progressive waves travelling along the plate. We show that the short-crested flexural wave component gives a dominant contribution to the generated power. We determine the hydroelectromechanical resonant periods of the device, at which the power output is significant.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20160715
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2195
Early online date1 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

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