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Generating Electricity from Air Flow Around Moving Cars and Trucks

24.11.2009
A group of researchers at the City College of New York is developing a new way to generate power for planes and automobiles based on materials known as piezoelectrics, which convert the kinetic energy of motion into electricity.

They will present their concept later this month at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society's (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics will take place from November 22-24 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

About a half-inch by one inch in size, these devices might be mounted on the roof or tail of a car or on an airplane fuselage where they would vibrate inside a flow, producing an output voltage. The power generated would not be enough to replace that supplied by the combustion engines, but it could run some system -- such as batteries that would be used to charge control panels and other small electronic devices such as mobile phones.

Led by CCNY professor Yiannis Andreopoulos, the researchers are currently attempting to optimize these devices by modeling the physical forces to which they are subjected in different air flows -- on the roof of a car, for instance, or on the back of a truck.

When the device is placed in the wake of a cylinder -- such as on the back of a truck -- the flow of air will cause the devices to vibrate in resonance, says Andreopoulos. On the roof of car, they will shake in a much more unsteady flow known as a turbulent boundary layer. In Minneapolis, Andreopoulos and his colleagues will present wind tunnel data showing how the devices work in both situations.

"These devices open the possibility to continuously scavenge otherwise wasted energy from the environment," says Andreopoulos.

The presentation, "Harvesting energy in the wake of a circular cylinder using piezoelectric materials" by Dogus H. Akaydin, Niell Elvin, and Yiannis Andreopoulos of the City College of New York is at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 22, 2009.

Abstract: http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DFD09/Event/110728

The presentation, "Harvesting energy from turbulence in boundary layers by using piezoelectric generators" by Yiannis Andreopoulos, Dogus H. Akaydin, and Niell Elvin of the City College of New York is at 8:52 a.m. on Monday, November 23, 2009.

Abstract:

MORE MEETING INFORMATION
The 62nd Annual DFD Meeting is largest scientific meeting of the year devoted to the fluid dynamics, it brings together researchers from around the globe to present work with applications in engineering, energy, physics, climate, astronomy, medicine, and mathematics. It will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center in downtown Minneapolis. All meeting information, including directions to the Convention Center is at: http://www.dfd2009.umn.edu/
PRESS REGISTRATION
Credentialed full-time journalist and professional freelance journalists working on assignment for major publications or media outlets are invited to attend the conference free of charge. If you are a reporter and would like to attend, please contact Jason Bardi (jbardi@aip.org, 301-209-3091).
USEFUL LINKS
Main meeting Web site: http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DFD09/Content/1629
Searchable form: http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DFD09/SearchAbstract
Local Conference Meeting Website: http://www.dfd2009.umn.edu/
PDF of Meeting Abstracts: http://flux.aps.org/meetings/YR09/DFD09/all_DFD09.pdf
Division of Fluid Dynamics page: http://www.aps.org/units/dfd/
Virtual Press Room: SEE BELOW
VIRTUAL PRESS ROOM
The APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Virtual Press Room will contain tips on dozens of stories as well as stunning graphics and lay-language papers detailing some of the most interesting results at the meeting. Lay-language papers are roughly 500 word summaries written for a general audience by the authors of individual presentations with accompanying graphics and multimedia files. The Virtual Press Room will serve as starting points for journalists who are interested in covering the meeting but cannot attend in person. See: http://www.aps.org/units/dfd/pressroom/index.cfm

Currently, the Division of Fluid Dynamics Virtual Press Room contains information related to the 2008 meeting. In mid-November, the Virtual Press Room will be updated for this year's meeting, and another news release will be sent out at that time.

ONSITE WORKSPACE FOR REPORTERS
A reserved workspace with wireless internet connections will be available for use by reporters. It will be located in the meeting exhibition hall (Ballroom AB) at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Sunday and Monday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Tuesday from 8:00 a.m. to noon. Press announcements and other news will be available in the Virtual Press Room.
GALLERY OF FLUID MOTION
Every year, the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics hosts posters and videos that show stunning images and graphics from either computational or experimental studies of flow phenomena. The outstanding entries, selected by a panel of referees for artistic content, originality and ability to convey information, will be honored during the meeting, placed on display at the Annual APS Meeting in March of 2010, and will appear in the annual Gallery of Fluid Motion article in the September 2010 issue of the journal Physics of Fluids.

This year, selected entries from the 27th Annual Gallery of Fluid Motion will be hosted as part of the Fluid Dynamics Virtual Press Room. In mid-November, when the Virtual Press Room is launched, another announcement will be sent out.

ABOUT THE APS DIVISION OF FLUID DYNAMICS
The Division of Fluid Dynamics of the American Physical Society exists for the advancement and diffusion of knowledge of the physics of fluids with special emphasis on the dynamical theories of the liquid, plastic and gaseous states of matter under all conditions of temperature and pressure.

Jason Socrates Bardi | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.aip.org
http://www.aps.org/units/dfd/

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