Turbine Design and Reliability

Biology Inspired Energy Harvesting

Led by Oscar Curet, Ph.D.
Affiliated Home Campus: Boca Raton
Affiliated Department: Ocean and Mechanical Engineering


Dr. Eduardo Castillo from Universidad del Turabo in Puerto Rico joined Daniel Gómez and Dr. Oscar Curet to investigate a mangrove-inspired project to extract electrical energy from the movement of mangrove roots. Mangrove trees grown in coastal tropic and subtropical regions, where they play an important role as habitats for many organisms and protecting shorelines against high-energy flows. The energy harvested from the mangroves can be used in low power systems like remote weather sensors.

In this project, a mangrove root was simulated as an oscillating and vertical cylinder, which was place in a recirculated water tunnel at the Hydrodynamics Laboratory at SeaTech. An electrical generator was attached to the cylinder and the velocity of the water was changed. The oscillation of the bottom end of the cylinder was recorded with a high-speed camera, and particle imagine velocimetry was performed in a horizontal plane to investigate the influence of the vortex street generated behind the cylinder. The results of this summer research will be presented in the 71st Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics.

HBOI ocean fish