Towards A Mobile Damping Robot For Vibration Reduction of Power Lines


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Virginia Tech


As power demand across communities increases, focus has been given to the maintenance of power lines against harsh environments such as wind-induced vibration (WIV). Currently, Inspection robots are used for maintenance efforts while fixed tuned mass dampers (FTMDs) are used to prevent structural damages. However, both solutions are facing many challenges. Inspection robots are limited by their size and considerable power demand, while FTMDs are narrowband and unable to adapt to changing wind characteristics, and thus are unable to reposition themselves at the antinodes of the vibrating loop. In view of these shortcomings, we propose a mobile damping robot (MDR) that integrates inspection robots' mobility and FTMDs WIV vibration control to help maintain power lines. In this effort, we model the conductor and the MDR by using Hamilton's principle and we consider the two-way nonlinear interaction between the MDR and the cable. The MDR is driven by a Proportional-Derivative controller to the optimal vibration location (i.e, antinodes) as the wind characteristics vary. The numerical simulations suggest that the MDR outperforms FTMDs for vibration mitigation. Furthermore, the key parameters that influence the performance of the MDR are identified through a parametric study. The findings could set up a platform to design a prototype and experimentally evaluate the performance of the MDR.



Wind-induced vibration control, energy harvesting, mobile damping robot