Michael Bernitsas, NAME and ME Professor, and his research assistant discuss the flow of the current through the Vortex Induced Vibrations for Aquatic Clean Energy (VIVACE) device. VIVACE is the first known device that can harness energy from slower moving bodies of water, the majority of which populate the earth. Turbines and water mills require an average of 5-6 knots to operate efficiently, whereas VIVACE can work with flows moving slower than 2 knots.
VIVACE uses a cylinder in the current to cause alternating vortices to form above and below the cylinder pushing and pulling the passive cylinder up and down its springs, creating mechanical energy. The mechanical energy is then converted into electricity.
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Photo: Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering Communications & Marketing