Wave-to-wire model development and validation for two OWC type wave energy converters

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Benreguig, Pierre
Kelly, James
Pakrashi, Vikram
Murphy, Jimmy
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The Tupperwave device is a closed-circuit oscillating water column (OWC) wave energy converter that uses non-return valves and two large fixed-volume accumulator chambers to create a smooth unidirectional air flow, harnessed by a unidirectional turbine. In this paper, the relevance of the Tupperwave concept against the conventional OWC concept, that uses a self-rectifying turbine, is investigated. For this purpose, wave-to-wire numerical models of the Tupperwave device and a corresponding conventional OWC device are developed and validated against experimental tests. Both devices have the same floating spar buoy structure and a similar turbine technology. The models include wave-structure hydrodynamic interaction, air turbines and generators, along with their control laws in order to encompass all power conversion stages from wave to electrical power. Hardware-in-the-loop is used to physically emulate the last power conversion stage from mechanic to electrical power and hence validate the control law and the generator numerical model. The dimensioning methodology for turbines and generators for power optimisation is explained. Eventually, the validated wave-to-wire numerical models of the conventional OWC and the Tupperwave device are used to assess and compare the performances of these two OWC type wave energy device concepts in the same wave climate. The benefits of pneumatic power smoothing by the Tupperwave device are discussed and the required efficiency of the non-return valves is investigated.
Wave energy , Oscillating water column , Air turbine , Valves , Wave-to-wave model
Benreguig, P., Kelly, J., Pakrashi, V. and Murphy, J. (2019) 'Wave-to-Wire Model Development and Validation for Two OWC Type Wave Energy Converters', Energies, 12(20), 3977 (28pp). doi: 10.3390/en12203977
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