Energy conversion: a comparison of fix- and self-referenced wave energy converters

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Sheng, Wanan
Lewis, Tony
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The paper presents an investigation of fix-referenced and self-referenced wave energy converters and a comparison of their corresponding wave energy conversion capacities from real seas. For conducting the comparisons, two popular wave energy converters, point absorber and oscillating water column, and their power conversion capacities in the fixed-referenced and self-referenced forms have been numerically studied and compared. In the numerical models, the deviceâ s power extractions from seas are maximized using the correspondingly optimized power take-offs in different sea states, thus their power conversion capacities can be calculated and compared. From the comparisons and analyses, it is shown that the energy conversion capacities of the self-referenced devices can be significantly increased if the motions of the device itself can be utilized for wave energy conversion; and the self-referenced devices can be possibly designed to be compliant in long waves, which could be a very beneficial factor for device survivability in the extreme wave conditions (normally long waves). In this regards, the self-referenced WECs (wave energy converters) may be better options in terms of wave energy conversion from the targeted waves in seas (frequently the most occurred), and in terms of the device survivability, especially in the extreme waves when compared to the fix-referenced counterparts.
Wave energy converter , Power take-off optimization , WEC deployment , Point absorber , Oscillating water column
Sheng, W. and Lewis, T. (2016) 'Energy Conversion: A Comparison of Fix- and Self-Referenced Wave Energy Converters', Energies, 9(12), 1056 (19pp). doi:10.3390/en9121056