Performance and hull pressure analysis of scaled physical testing of a wave energy converter
University College Cork
Wave energy conversion is an emerging field with the potential to capture a significant amount of a globally abundant energy resource to lower reliance on fossil fuels. At present, many designs for wave energy converters are being developed which show great promise for efficiently capturing wave energy. One of the most common barriers to the commercial development and deployment of these devices, however, is the high cost of manufacturing and design validation. The ocean is a harsh environment in which to place infrastructure, and there is a high risk of a wave energy converter being critically damaged at sea after going through a long and costly development process. For this reason, small-scale tank tests and computer modelling of concepts are vital to develop wave energy converter technologies to the highest possible degree before being put into an open-water operational environment. This study describes a physical tank testing campaign of one such model, the Ocean Energy (OE) Buoy, a floating oscillating water column wave energy converter. The walls of the OE Buoy are open to allow water to freely flow through it, and this study seeks to determine whether this might allow for the device to be made with a thinner hull than “closed-container” marine devices. If the water pressure that the hull walls will experience during operation is overestimated in the OE Buoy’s current design, this could have the potential to significantly lower costs of materials and production. This testing was conducted at University College Cork’s Lir NOTF tank facility in November and December of 2021, and the OE Buoy model used is designed at 1:15 scale.
OWC , Wave energy conversion , Hull pressure , Tank testing
Bevin, A. 2022. Performance and hull pressure analysis of scaled physical testing of a wave energy converter. MRes Thesis, University College Cork.