Wave energy converter

Wave energy converter based on a dielectric elastomer generator with compensated stiffness

Title of the patent Wave energy converter based on a dielectric elastomer generator with compensated stiffness
Thematic area Mechanical, civil and environmental engineering
Ownership Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Wave Energy Centre Portugal
Inventors Rocco Vertechy, Marco Fontana, Luca Daniele, Giacomo Moretti, Boris Teillant, Miguel Vicente, Antonio Sarmento, David Forehand, David Ingram
Protection International application
Licensing status Available for licensing agreement
Keywords Dielectric Elastomer Generators, DEG, Wave Energy Converter, WEC, ocean energy, wave energy
Filed on Dec 23, 2016

The invention proposes a method to implement a negative stiffness to partially or totally compensate the stiffness
of the elastomeric materials. It allows to regulate the mechanical impedance which is claimed to be an unsolved
problem of WEC devices based on DEG, which are usually made of bulky, heavy, costly and corrosion-sensitive
materials.
The invention is an affordable and scalable solid-state monolithic embodiment with no sliding parts and very low
internal friction; providing good chemical resistance to corrosive environments. Once deployed, it doesn’t need
lubrication and its operation is silent.

Advantages

  • suitable for different WEC devices and adaptable to the various sea conditions
  • easy manufacturability: very simple design requiring no additional components
  • higher electro-mechanical conversion efficiency
  • resistance to break-downs

Applications

Energy supply for floating buoys

 

The patented technology will be presented at the UKCMER Annual Assembly 2018 to take place in Edinburgh on December,  5th, 2018.

Recent bibliography.

Moretti G., Fontana M., Vertechy R., 2015: “Model-Based Design and Optimization of a Dielectric Elastomer Power Take-Off for Oscillating Wave Surge Energy Converters”, Meccanica, 50 (11), 2797–2813.

Moretti G., Fontana M., Vertechy R., 2015: “Parallelogram-shaped dielectric elastomer generators: analytical model and experi­mental validation”, Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, 26(6), 740-751.

Vertechy R., Rosati Papini G.P., Fontana M., 2015: “Reduced Model and Application of Inflating Circular Diaphragm Dielectric Elastomer Generators For Wave Energy Harvesting”, ASME Journal of Vibration and Acoustics, 137(1), Art. No. 011004.

Moretti G., Fontana M., Vertechy R., 2013: “Modelling and Control of Lozenge-Shaped Dielectric Elastomer Generators”, Pro­ceedings of the ASME 2013 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems - SMASIS2013, 16–18 September, Snowbird, Utah, USA.

 Moretti G., Fontana M., Vertechy R., 2014: “Modeling Of A Heaving Buoy Wave Energy Converter With Stacked Dielectric Elas­tomer Generator”, Proceedings of the ASME 2014 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems - SMASIS2014, 8-10 September, Newport, Rhode Island, USA.

Moretti G., Rosati Papini G.P., Fontana M., Vertechy R., 2015: “Hardware in the loop simulation of a dielectric elastomer generator for oscillating water column wave energy converters”, Proceedings of OCEANS 2015 MTS/IEEE, 18-21 May, Genova, Italy.

Rosati Papini G. P., Vertechy R., Fontana M., 2013: “Dynamic Model Of Dielectric Elastomer Diaphragm Generators For Oscillating Water Column Wave Energy Converters”, Proceedings of the ASME 2013 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems - SMASIS2013, 16–18 September, Snowbird, Utah, USA.

Vertechy R., Fontana M., Rosati Papini G. P., Forehand D., 2014: “In-tank tests of a dielectric elastomer generator for wave energy harvesting”, Proceedings of the 16th SPIE Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices Conference 9056 – EAPAD 2014, Art. no. 90561G, 10-13 March.