Adaptive Geometry and its Theoretical Application

Asfaw Beyene, San Diego State University

Guest lecture: 12 Januay 2010, 13:00hrs
Room E-164, Tjølv Egelands hus
The presentation is open for the general public

This guest lecture is part of the educational and research collaboration established between University of Stavanger and San Diego State University in spring 2009. As part of the Strategy for Norway’s Scientific and Technological Cooperation
with North America, the collaboration is funded by the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU). Read more.

Abstract: Birds, fish, and various water dwelling mammals create a propulsive thrust using adaptive fin motion to propel them either through air or water. During the last decade, this particular phenomenon of kinematic motion has been studied by various scholars to gain an understanding of the genesis of these large relative efficiencies and body accelerations. Invariably, the studies generally are interested in gaining an understanding of the phenomena so that these motions and kinematics can be applied to engineering design efforts. Various groups have built propulsive devices that are intended to mimic motions of these highly efficient, adaptive motion propulsors with various degrees of successes.

In developing the concept of adaptive geometry, - merging the governing principles of turbomachinery with those that govern flying and swimming natural creatures, an effort is made to identify the derivative principles of natural motion applicable to turbomachinery. This would help build a principled conceptual foundation common to the motion of animals – birds and fish, and engineered devices or systems – turbines, pumps, or even aircrafts. It can be observed that one primary departure of natural motion from motion of man-made devices is lack of geometric adaptivity to varying flow conditions. In flying and swimming creatures, the geometries are morphed to fit to a flow condition. In man-made devices, usually the geometry remains rigid in spite of widely varying flow conditions. Similar to flying and swimming creatures, the concept of adaptive design attempts to vary the geometry of the component, for example a turbine blade, to better adapt to varying operating conditions; hence, the relevance of the theory of fly or swim-locomotion to the proposed concept. This presentation is an overview of some existing efforts as well a
summary findings of our research team in attempting to incorporate this concept into a low Reynolds number model, - designing and building a morphing blade for wind energy conversion.

Prof. Asfaw Beyene is Director of the Energy Engineering Institute at San Diego State University, Department of Mechanical Engineering where he also teaches energy related courses since 1989. He received his Ph.D. from Warsaw University of Technology in 1987. He has published large number of technical reports, over 65 peer-reviewed papers and invited presentation, and has attracted close to $5 million in funding. His research interests are energy efficiency and renewable energy, ultra-low grade heat recovery and morphing blades in particular. He has received numerous awards including outstanding Faculty Award from alumni, outstanding contribution award from Department of Energy, and Region V Energy Developer of the Year from AEE.


University of Stavanger,
Department of Mechanical and Structural
Engineering and Material Technology

Sist oppdatert av Bjarte Hoem (22.12.2009)

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