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Dr. Farhang Momeni

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, USA


Talk Title
Nature-inspired Solutions for Future Renewable Energies by 4D Printing

Talk Abstract

Living creatures in nature perform their biological and physiological functions in the most efficient ways. Therefore, nature-inspired approaches can yield one of the best solutions for design and manufacturing of engineering systems. On the other hand, 4D printing is a new manufacturing process that deals with stimuli-responsive materials and can provide smart structures with intelligent behaviors over "time". In this talk, two nature-inspired examples are demonstrated in the renewable energy field, both of which are enabled by the 4D printing process. In the first example, I propose the idea of smart solar concentrators inspired by flowers and achieved by the 4D printing process. At the present time, the solar concentrators are usually designed and fabricated in a static shape such as parabolic, hyperbolic, elliptic and V-shape. However, a fixed-shape concentrator is not an optimized structure to capture and concentrate the sunlight during a day. By observing petals of various flowers, we figured out that the flowers that are open around noon (perpendicular sunlight) possess mainly parabolic petals, while the flowers that are open far from noon (inclined sunlight) own mainly hyperbolic petals. By considering this difference, we proposed a 4D printed smart solar concentrator that is parabolic around noon and can reversibly alter its geometry to hyperbola far from noon. This smart concentrator can improve the entire optical efficiency during a day more than 25% in comparison with passive (static) ones. In the second example, I discuss a plant leaf-mimetic 4D printed wind turbine blade that has several advantages, simultaneously. 4D printing is an emerging technology utilized in various fields. In this talk, I explain the advantages of 4D printing in the renewable energy field by discussing the two examples above. The target audience would be researchers from academia and industry.

Short Biography

Dr. Farhang Momeni received his B.S. in the Aerospace Engineering from the Sharif University of Technology in 2014. He finished his B.S. in three years rather than the usual four years, while he was ranked 1st among all the students in the Aerospace Engineering department at the Sharif University of Technology that graduated in 2014. He published two journal articles in Thermodynamics before his B.S. graduation date. In 2015, he received Direct Ph.D. admission with fellowship award from the Mechanical Engineering department at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where he obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Talk Keywords
Nature-inspired; Smart solar concentrator; Optical efficiency; Smart wind turbine blade; Plant leaf-mimetic blade; 4D printing.
Target Audience
Researchers, Government policy makers, Industrail leaders, Students, General publics
Speaker-intro video

The International Conference on Innovative Applied Energy (IAPE’18)