Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Vesselin Stoilov

Second Advisor

Vesselina Roussinova


Computational Fluid Dynamics, Energy Harvesting, Fluid-structure Interaction, Vortex-induced Vibrations




The hydrokinetic energy contained in flowing water is plentiful and has the potential to be one of the environmentally friendly renewable sources of energy that can be harvested. A new energy harvesting system utilizing Vortex-induced Vibration (VIV) is presented and analysed in this thesis. The proposed energy harvester generates power by direct conversion of the hydrokinetic energy of water flow into mechanical vibrations. The harvester experiences alternating fluid forces due to the repeatable pattern of alternating vortices shed from the sides of the body which generates a wake with Von Kármán Vortex Street. The proposed harvester consists of two coupled components: a bluff body with specific geometry that produces mechanical oscillations from VIV resulting in periodic vibrations and a set of piezoelectric transducers that harvest the mechanical energy from the vibrations. This typical Fluid-structure Interaction (FSI) between fluid flow and the energy harvester was studied using numerical modeling and experimental tests. The vibrational power output of the energy harvester was directly measured from data acquisition system during experimental tests. The VIV response of the proposed harvester with two degrees-of-freedom (DOF) is also investigated numerically at different input velocities. Potential power output generated by the harvester was calculated based on the results from the two-way coupled numerical model and reported over a range of input velocity. A single energy harvester demonstrated a peak power output of 41 mW, from an input flow velocity of ~8 m/s.