Modelling and control of a floating oscillating water column

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Kelly, James F.
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University College Cork
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A novel numerical model of a Bent Backwards Duct Buoy (BBDB) Oscillating Water Column (OWC) Wave Energy Converter was created based on existing isolated numerical models of the different energy conversion systems utilised by an OWC. The novel aspect of this numerical model is that it incorporates the interdependencies of the different power conversion systems rather than modelling each system individually. This was achieved by accounting for the dynamic aerodynamic damping caused by the changing turbine rotational velocity by recalculating the turbine damping for each simulation sample and applying it via a feedback loop. The accuracy of the model was validated using experimental data collected during the Components for Ocean Renewable Energy Systems (CORES) EU FP-7 project that was tested in Galway Bay, Ireland. During the verification process, it was discovered that the model could also be applied as a valuable tool when troubleshooting device performance. A new turbine was developed and added to a full scale model after being investigated using Computational Fluid Dynamics. The energy storage capacity of the impulse turbine was investigated by modelling the turbine with both high and low inertia and applying three turbine control theories to the turbine using the full scale model. A single Maximum Power Point Tracking algorithm was applied to the low-inertia turbine, while both a fixed and dynamic control algorithm was applied to the high-inertia turbine. These results suggest that the highinertia turbine could be used as a flywheel energy storage device that could help minimize output power variation despite the low operating speed of the impulse turbine. This research identified the importance of applying dynamic turbine damping to a BBDB OWC numerical model, revealed additional value of the model as a device troubleshooting tool, and found that an impulse turbine could be applied as an energy storage system.
Ocean energy , Oscillating water column , Renewable energy , Impulse turbine
Kelly, J. F. 2016. Modelling and control of a floating oscillating water column. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.