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New mechanisms and concepts for exploiting electroactive Polymers for Wave Energy Conversion

Objective

Wave energy has a great potential as renewable source of electricity. Studies have demonstrated that significant percentage of world electricity could be produced by Wave Energy Converters (WECs). However electricity generation from waves still lacks of spreading because the combination of harsh environment and form of energy makes the technical development of cost effective WECs particularly difficult.
This Project introduces a new class of Polymeric WECs (PolyWECs), characterized by the employment of Electroactive Elastomer (EE) transducers. The goal is to introduce a radical change in the traditional architecture of WECs that usually includes three basic components: mechanical wave absorbers, a mechanical transmission and a power take-off system. Due to their nature, PolyWECs can be conceived in a way that such three components are integrated into a single deformable lightweight and low-cost polymeric element. EEs have been largely investigated in the form of actuators for robotics and ICT applications. Preliminary studies on energy generation through EEs demonstrated their great potential in terms of cost effectiveness, efficiency and reduced complexity. Due to their intrinsic low mass, flexibility and resilience, as well as their capacitive nature and high voltage operation, EE technology perfectly matches the requirements of WECs.
The Project investigates on new concepts and mechanisms for wave energy harvesting that are based on EEs through a multidisciplinary approach that includes competencies on WEC design/tests, fluid dynamics simulation/test, control/mechatronics and material science. The aim of the Project is to develop new knowledge and new technologies aiming at:(1) optimizing EE materials for WEC applications,(2) conceiving new electro-mechanical configurations for PolyWECs,(3) studying the fluid-EE interaction through numerical simulations,(4) performing wave-tank tests of small scale prototypes, (5) providing economic and environmental assessment.

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/electrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering/electrical engineering/power engineering/electric power generation
  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels/energy conversion
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/classical mechanics/fluid mechanics/fluid dynamics

Call for proposal

FP7-ENERGY-2012-1-2STAGE
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP - Collaborative project (generic)

Coordinator

SCUOLA SUPERIORE DI STUDI UNIVERSITARI E DI PERFEZIONAMENTO S ANNA
Address
Piazza Martiri Della Liberta 33
56127 Pisa
Italy
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 771 582,30
Administrative Contact
Marco Fontana (Dr.)

Participants (5)

INSTITUTUL DE CHIMIE MACROMOLECULARA PETRU PONI
Romania
EU contribution
€ 295 600
Address
Aleea Grigore Ghica Voda 41A
700487 Iasi
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Maria Cazacu (Dr.)
SELMAR SRL
Italy
EU contribution
€ 275 797,50
Address
Via Cesare Arzela' 7/I
19037 Santo Stefano Di Magra Sp
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Andrea Raggi (Mr.)
THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 459 476,20
Address
Old College, South Bridge
EH8 9YL Edinburgh
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Angela Noble (Ms.)
WAVEC/OFFSHORE RENEWABLES - CENTRO DE ENERGIA OFFSHORE ASSOCIACAO
Portugal
EU contribution
€ 208 700
Address
Edificio Diogo Cao, Doca De Alcanta Norte
1350-352 Lisboa
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Carla Bacelar (Mrs.)
ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - UNIVERSITA DI BOLOGNA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 48 000
Address
Via Zamboni 33
40126 Bologna
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Sicuranza Claudia (Dr.)