Biologically inspired highly efficient buoyancy engine

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dc.contributor.author Akle, Barbar
dc.contributor.author Habchi, Wassim
dc.contributor.author Abdelnour, Rita
dc.contributor.author Blottman III, John
dc.contributor.author Leo, Donald
dc.date.accessioned 2017-05-30T12:40:52Z
dc.date.available 2017-05-30T12:40:52Z
dc.date.issued 2017-05-30
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10725/5687
dc.description.abstract Undersea distributed networked sensor systems require a miniaturization of platforms and a means of both spatial and temporal persistence. One aspect of this system is the necessity to modulate sensor depth for optimal positioning and station-keeping. Current approaches involve pneumatic bladders or electrolysis; both require mechanical subsystems and consume significant power. These are not suitable for the miniaturization of sensor platforms. Presented in this study is a novel biologically inspired method that relies on ionic motion and osmotic pressures to displace a volume of water from the ocean into and out of the proposed buoyancy engine. At a constant device volume, the displaced water will alter buoyancy leading to either sinking or floating. The engine is composed of an enclosure sided on the ocean's end by a Nafion ionomer and by a flexible membrane separating the water from a gas enclosure. Two electrodes are placed one inside the enclosure and the other attached to the engine on the outside. The semi-permeable membrane Nafion allows water motion in and out of the enclosure while blocking anions from being transferred. The two electrodes generate local concentration changes of ions upon the application of an electrical field; these changes lead to osmotic pressures and hence the transfer of water through the semi-permeable membrane. Some aquatic organisms such as pelagic crustacean perform this buoyancy control using an exchange of ions through their tissue to modulate its density relative to the ambient sea water. In this paper, the authors provide an experimental proof of concept of this buoyancy engine. The efficiency of changing the engine's buoyancy is calculated and optimized as a function of electrode surface area. For example electrodes made of a 3mm diameter Ag/AgCl proved to transfer approximately 4mm3 of water consuming 4 Joules of electrical energy. The speed of displacement is optimized as a function of the surface area of the Nafion membrane and its thickness. The 4mm3 displaced volume obtained with the Ag/AgCl electrodes required approximately 380 seconds. The thickness of the Nafion membrane is 180μm and it has an area of 133mm3. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher SPIE en_US
dc.title Biologically inspired highly efficient buoyancy engine en_US
dc.type Conference Paper / Proceeding en_US
dc.author.school SOE en_US
dc.author.idnumber 200700940 en_US
dc.author.department Industrial And Mechanical Engineering en_US
dc.description.embargo N/A en_US
dc.keywords Electrodes en_US
dc.keywords Ions en_US
dc.keywords Organisms en_US
dc.keywords Physical oceanography en_US
dc.keywords Sensors en_US
dc.keywords Tissues en_US
dc.keywords Water en_US
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.916075 en_US
dc.identifier.ctation Akle, B., Habchi, W., Abdelnour, R., Blottman III, J., & Leo, D. (2012, April). Biologically inspired highly efficient buoyancy engine. In SPIE Smart Structures and Materials+ Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring (pp. 83390O-83390O). International Society for Optics and Photonics. en_US
dc.author.email barbar.akle@lau.edu.lb en_US
dc.conference.date March 11, 2012 en_US
dc.conference.pages 83390O en_US
dc.conference.place San Diego, California, USA en_US
dc.identifier.tou http://libraries.lau.edu.lb/research/laur/terms-of-use/articles.php en_US
dc.identifier.url http://proceedings.spiedigitallibrary.org/proceeding.aspx?articleid=1312372 en_US
dc.author.affiliation Lebanese American University en_US
dc.relation.numberofseries 8339 en_US
dc.title.volume Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication 2012 en_US

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