Assessing the performance of an oscillating water column type wave energy device

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


To meet the need of clean energy, a variety of renewable energy technologies have been developed. Among those, wave energy stands out for its' [sic] outstanding merits. For instance, wave energy is clean, renewable, has high energy intensity and long resource available time [sic]. However, due to the short development history of wave energy technologies, the cost of wave energy is too high compared with the other renewable energy technologies. As well as lack of cost effective Wave Energy Converters (WECs) scenarios, another reason that keeps the cost of wave energy high is that the performance of a WECs may not be accurately assessed during its' [sic] design and development stage. This leads to error in estimating the cost of energy produced by the full scale device. Therefore, this study aims to drive the cost of WECs down by investigate [sic] several major aspects that will bias the assessing the performance [sic] of a WEC during the design and development stage. Literature review suggested the uncertainty in the measurement, the tank width effect (in tank testing.), the performance of the simulated simple Power Take Off (PTO) and the scale effect are major aspects that bias the assessment. By tank testing and Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) simulation, the above three aspects were investigated. It is found that the uncertainty in the measurement leads to an uncertainty in the power captured at model scale about 5% around the peak output. The appearance of the tank wall will over estimate the performance of a single unit depends on the width of the tank [sic]. A 1 : 150th scaled (of the full scale.) device may under estimate the performance of the device by about 34% compared with a 1 : 16.67th scaled device, while a 1 : 50th scaled device under estimate the performance of a 1 : 16.67th scaled device by 6.6%. The CFD simulation demonstrated it's [sic] advantage over the tank testing when scaling and tank width effect is concerned. Therefore, to better estimate the performance, the assessment shall be carried out by both experiment and numerical simulation. Based on the study carried out, recommendation and guide line for tank testing of a FSCOWC device was given at the end of the thesis.
Date of Award12 Dec 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde

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