Date of Award

Spring 2024

Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Vladimir V. Golubev

First Committee Member

Reda Mankbadi

Second Committee Member

William MacKunis

College Dean

James W. Gregory


Typically, wind energy harvesting technology employs wind turbines. Towards the goal of meeting increasing energy needs with renewable energy sources a novel wind energy harvesting scheme is considered, utilizing a modified Glauert (MG) airfoil experiencing aeroelastic limit cycle oscillation (LCO) from which energy may be extracted. Synthetic jet actuators (SJA)s are used along with the unique geometry of the MG airfoil to control flow separation and amplify the LCO and energy generation potential of the system. The discussed wind energy harvesting scheme could provide flexibility in allowing installations previously unsuitable to wind turbines due to geometric or low wind velocity constraints. Without SJA control at 7 m/s wind speed, predicted net power output is 2.35 W per meter span. With SJA control, this increases to 4.05 W.

Towards the study of an MG airfoil under LCO, this thesis evaluates variable-fidelity numerical schemes. A high-fidelity implicit large eddy simulation (ILES) solver FDL3DI is employed to directly compute the flow field around the moving airfoil, and especially the effects of SJA control. For a low-fidelity tool, the panel method solver with boundary layer prediction XFOIL is used. Both numerical tools compare well to steady-state experimental results.

The MG airfoil geometry exhibits LCO below the velocities predicted by inviscid unsteady thin airfoil theory (UTAT) due to separation near the rear of the airfoil, including with only 1 degree of freedom (DOF). Both simple open- and closed-loop controllers show success in amplifying plunging LCO motion by activating SJAs with the natural frequency of plunging. When the low fidelity tool is complete, it can be used for fast structural, control, and geometric optimization to further increase the energy harvesting potential of the system.