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Test rig

Designing a New Test Rig:

Due to some limitations in the water tank tests (especially the amount of pressure), we decided to design and build a new test rig for purposes such as:

  • The assessment of the PTO performance in terms of efficiency and convertible power.
  • Structural and material solutions
  • Study on scaling and pre-stretching effects
  • Study more engineering materials and components

Here are the schematic view and technical details of the designed test rig.

Diameter of membrane 10~40cm
Membrane deformation 0~20cm
Pressure in air-chamber 0~20kPa
Frequency of piston 0.4~1.2Hz
The amplitude of piston 0~57cm

Here are some pictures and videos from the assembled test rig.

One of the advantages of the designed test rig is installing an air pump to continuously apply pressure inside the air chamber. This helps us to conduct the Bulge test, which can provide lots of beneficial data regarding the material and structure. The following video shows the bulge test and some results.

Another test is done on the membrane part covered with a structural membrane. This structure membrane can apply non-linear stiffness on the elastomer part and have a passive control on the deformation of the elastomer.

Test Rig Modifications

We are thrilled to share some exciting updates on our ongoing research endeavours in wave energy with you. As we dive deeper into wave energy converter (WEC) complexities, we recognize the significance of regularly improving our experimental techniques and equipment to discover valuable insights. We have significantly upgraded our experimental setup, following the challenges we faced during previous water tank tests. 

One of the significant upgrades involves the construction of a supporting structure that minimizes vibration induced by the linear actuator. This new structure will enhance the precision of our measurements, which is crucial for accurately assessing membrane behaviour and sample responses. We have also introduced an innovative sealing mechanism on the shaft to curb leakage and create a more controlled experimental environment effectively. Additionally, we have developed a new 3D-printed connection that smoothly integrates the air chamber with the cylinder component, strengthening the structural integrity and enhancing versatility and ease of assembly.

We invite you to join us as we explore renewable energy research with a focus on innovation and excellence!