Numerical Analysis and Scaled High Resolution Tank Testing of a Novel Wave Energy Converter

Ken Rhinefrank, Al Schacher, Joe Prudell, Joao Cruz, Chad Stillinger, David Naviaux, Ted Brekken, Annette von Jouanne, David Newborn, Solomon Yim, and Dan Cox – Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering – September 2013


This paper presents a novel point absorber wave energy converter (WEC), developed by Columbia Power Technologies (COLUMBIA POWER), in addition to the related numerical analysis and scaled wave tank testing. Three hydrodynamic modeling tools are employed to evaluate the performance of the WEC, including WAMIT, GL Garrad Hassan’s GH WaveDyn, and OrcaFlex. GH WaveDyn is a specialized numerical code being developed specifically for the wave energy industry. Performance and mooring estimates at full scale are evaluated and optimized, followed by the development of a 1:33 scale physical model. The physical tests of the 1:33 scale model WEC were conducted at the multidirectional wave basin of Oregon State University’s O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory, in conjunction with the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC). This paper concludes with an overview of the next steps for the modeling program and future experimental test plans.



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