Harnessing Flapping Foil Technology


A comprehensive review of flapping foils for Wave Devouring Propulsion (WDP) is presented. The flapping foil can effectively utilize wave energy and generate thrust, according to an article published on the Science Direct website.

Introduction To Wave Devouring Propulsion (WDP)

Utilizing the kinetic energy of ocean waves, flapping foils present a green and fuel-free propulsion method. This technology, known as Wave Devouring Propulsion (WDP), employs submerged flapping foils to convert wave energy into thrust, enhancing the propulsion efficiency of both crewed and uncrewed vessels.

Historical Evolution Of Flapping Foils

Flapping foils have been an object of interest for propulsion, dating back to 1909 when researchers like Knoller and Betz independently expounded on thrust generation mechanisms. Studies later revealed the ability of oscillating foils to produce thrust in both uniform and oscillating flows. The concept’s relation to natural propulsion methods observed in birds and fish was explored, showing similarities in lift and thrust generation.

Impact And Enhancement Of Propulsion Techniques

The biofluid dynamics behavior of aquatic animals led to the understanding of thrust generation, emphasizing the importance of wake formation in propelling bodies.

Moreover, flapping foils not only support natural propulsion methods but also enhance traditional marine propellers, leading to the evolution of Wave Devouring Propulsion Systems (WDPS).

These systems operate at a lower frequency, reducing underwater noise, and have been developed for various commercial applications.

Research And Noise Mitigation

Studies utilizing numerical simulations like the Ffowcs Williams–Hawkings (FW-H) equation have focused on understanding and mitigating the acoustic noise generated by WDPS. This research emphasizes the influence of hull geometry, acoustic properties, and environmental factors on noise generation and its effects on marine life, especially marine mammals.

Structure Of The Paper

The review article aims to provide a comprehensive summary of the existing research, industrial applications, and future directions regarding wave-powered foil propulsion.

It’s structured into sections that cover introductory aspects, parameters related to foil study, theoretical, experimental, and numerical research on WDP, and a detailed summary of industrial applications. The paper concludes by suggesting future research directions in this field.

Future Directions And Conclusion

The paper presents insights into the historical evolution, scientific contributions, commercial applications, and future trajectories of WDP technology in marine propulsion.

Recommendations for future research are provided, emphasizing the continued exploration of parameters influencing thrust efficiency and the development of environmentally friendly and efficient propulsion systems for maritime use.

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Source: science direct 



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