Effects of Non-Sinusoidal Motion and Effective Angle of Attack on Energy Extraction Performance of a Fully-Activated Flapping Foil


1 Laboratory of Thermodynamics and Energy Systems, Faculty of Physics, University of Science and Technology Houari Boumediene (USTHB), BP 32 El-Alia, Algiers, Algeria

2 LMF, Ecole Militaire Polytechnique (EMP), B.P 17 Bordj-el-Bahri, 16111, Algiers, Algeria

3 Centre de De ́veloppement des Energies Renouvelables, CDER, B.P 62 Route de l’Observatoire, 16340 Bouzare ́ah, Algiers, Algeria

4 Arts et Me ́tiers ParisTech, LMFL, 8 boulevard Louis XIV, 59046 Lille, France

5 Virginia Tech, Kevin T. Crofton, Dept. of Aerospace & Ocean Eng., Blacksburg, 460 Old Turner Street, VA 24061, USA


Flapping foil energy harvesting systems are considered as highly competitive devices for conventional turbines. Several research projects have already been carried out to improve performances of such new devices. This paper is devoted to study effects of non-sinusoidal heaving trajectory, non-sinusoidal pitching trajectory, and the effective angle of attack on the energy extraction performances of a flapping foil operating at low Reynolds number (Re=1100). An elliptic function with an adjustable parameter S (flattening parameter) is used to simulate various sinusoidal and non-sinusoidal flapping trajectories. The flow around the flapping foil is simulated by solving Navier–Stokes equations using the commercial software Star CCM+ based on the finite-volume method. Overset mesh technique is used to model the flapping motion. The study is applied to the NACA0015 foil with the following kinetic parameters: a dimensionless heaving amplitude h0 = 1c, a shift angle between heaving and pitching motions = 90°, a reduced frequency f* = 0.14, and an effective angle of attack αmax varying between 15° and 50°, corresponding to a pitching amplitude in the range 0 = 55.51° to 99.51°. The results show that, the non-sinusoidal trajectory affects considerably the energy extraction performances. For the reference case (sinusoidal heaving and pitching motions, Sh = S =1), best performances are obtained for the effective angle of attack, αmax = 40°. At small effective angle of attack αmax 40°), non-sinusoidal pitching motion has a negative effect. Performances improvement is quite limited with the combined motions non-sinusoidal heaving/sinusoidal pitching.