Adaptive Structures for Whole Life Energy Savings

The design methodology described in this paper takes a substantial shift from conventional methods. Traditionally sizing is based on the worst expected load scenario. By contrast to this conventional passive approach the method presented here replaces passive member strategically with active elements (actuators) which are only activated when the loads reach a certain threshold. The structure can withstand low level of loads passively. Above the threshold, actuation comes in to allow the structure to cope with high but rare loading scenarios. Active control introduces operational energy consumption in addition to the energy embodied in a passive design. In this paper we use this dual design to minimize the overall energy required by the structures. This methodology has been used on a simple truss structure and it was showed that it allows significant weight saving compared to conventional passive design. We extend the application of the methodology to a more complex 3D structure. It is confirmed that an optimum activation threshold exists that leads to design that minimises the total energy of the structure. Compared to an optimised passive design we show that the total energy saving is 10-fold

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Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures, 52(170), 4, 233-240
Dec 01 2011
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 Record created 2018-06-05, last modified 2019-12-05

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