Development of numerical wave power prediction tool offshore oscillating water column wave energy converter

Ahmed Seif-Eldine Mohamed Bayoumi, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Strathclyde, 2013
Marine renewable energy sources are crucial alternatives for a sustainable development. The idea of generating electrical power from water waves has been realized for many years. In fact, waves are now considered as an ideal renewable energy source since a Wave Energy Converter (WEC) has no fuel cost and provides cleanly a high power density that is available most of the time. The third generation of WECs is intended to be installed offshore. This allows the device to harvest the great energy content of waves found in deep water and minimise the environmental impacts of the device. On the other hand, moving WECs to offshore locations will increase the initial and maintenance costs. So many types of device may be suggested for wave power extraction that the task of selecting a particular one is made complicated. Therefore modelling of different WECs allows the comparison between them and the selection of the optimum choice.
Recent studies showed that the SparBuoy Oscillating Water Column (OWC) has the advantage of being simple, axi-symmetrical, and equally efficient at capturing energy from all directions, but its efficiency (capture factor) is affected significantly by the incident wave periods variation due to the dynamic coupling of the water column and the floating structure. The proper modelling of the device allows the optimization of the geometries and the Power Take-Off (PTO) mechanism in order to maximise the power absorbed. The main objective of this research is to develop experimentally validated numerical wave power prediction tool for offshore SparBuoy OWC WEC. The numerical tool should be able to predict the spar motions and the water column oscillations inside the structure, in addition to the estimation of the pneumatic power absorber and the evaluation of the device performance. Three uncoupled linear second order differential equations have been used to predict the spar surge, heave and pitch motions, where wave forces have been calculated. Three uncoupled linear second order differential equations have been used to predict the spar surge, heave and pitch motions, where wave forces have been calculated analytically in frequency domain in inertia and diffraction regimes. Mooring system has been involved in surge motion only using static and quasi-static modelling approaches. Finite element multi-static model have been developed using OrcaFlex to validate the analytical results. Single Degree of Freedom (DOF) mechanical oscillation model has been presented to simulate the water column oscillations inside captive cylindrical OWC where PTO damping and stiffness due to air compressibility inside the pneumatic chamber have been taken into account linearly. Later on, nonlinearity due to large waves has been investigated. Linearized frequency domain model based on classical perturbation theory and nonlinear model where wave forces are calculated in time domain have been proposed. Furthermore, nonlinearity due to damping forces has been considered. First, iterative procedure has been used to optimise the linear and quadratic damping coefficients in frequency domain. Then, another model has been provided where equivalent viscous damping coefficients are calculated in time domain by taking into consideration the instant oscillation amplitude. Finally the nonlinear effects due to air compressibility inside the OWC chamber has been considered in a time domain model which include the water column oscillations amplitudes. Two different dynamic models have been implemented to describe floating OWC and will be referred to in the text as simplified 2DOF model and Szumko model. Both models considered two translational modes of motions in heave direction. Simplified 2DOF model has been solved analytically in frequency domain due to its simplicity, while numerical solutions in time domain have been provided for both models using Matlab. Different approaches have been adopted to modify both models in order to obtain a satisfactory agreement between the predicted and measured results. A floating platform consists of four similar SparBuoy OWC WECs rigidly attached together by trusses where spars are located at the corners have been tested experimentally. Numerical model has been developed to predict the platform motions. Finally the experimental results have been compared to those obtained from the modelling of single SparBuoy OWC.

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