Research Papers: Ocean Renewable Energy

Preliminary Modeling and Analysis of a Horizontal Pressure Differential Wave Energy Converter

[+] Author and Article Information
J. Cameron McNatt

School of Civil and Construction Engineering,
Oregon State University,
Corvallis, OR 97331
e-mail: cmcnatt@coas.oregonstate.edu

H. Tuba Özkan-Haller

College of Earth, Ocean, and
Atmospheric Sciences,
Oregon State University,
Corvallis, OR 97331
e-mail: ozkan@coas.oregonstate.edu

Michael Morrow

e-mail: mike@m3wave.com

Michael Delos-Reyes

e-mail: mdr@m3wave.com
M3 Wave Energy Systems, LLC,
Corvallis, OR 97333

Contributed by the Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF OFFSHORE MECHANICS AND ARCTIC ENGINEERING. Manuscript received July 22, 2012; final manuscript received July 9, 2013; published online November 12, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Hideyuki Suzuki.

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 136(1), 011901 (Nov 12, 2013) (8 pages) Paper No: OMAE-12-1077; doi: 10.1115/1.4025437 History: Received July 22, 2012; Revised July 09, 2013

Wave energy converters (WECs) have been proposed that take advantage of spatially varying pressure differentials (PDs) in a wave field to drive a fluid flow. In order to accurately assess the pressure forcing on PD devices, physics-based relationships between major device parameters and device performance need to be determined. Herein, a transfer function is developed that relates horizontally oriented PD device configurations and wave conditions to the amount of pressure forcing available to the device. Investigation of the transfer function confirms intuitive expectation but also yields surprising results. The transfer function can be applied to a wave spectrum to create a pressure resource spectrum. By manipulating the device length and orientation, an optimal configuration can be found that maximizes the total harnessable pressure resource for a given wave condition or a wave climate. Optimal device lengths for directional seas are longer than those for nondirectional seas, and a wide range of suboptimal configurations yields a reasonable pressure resource. The pressure resource transfer function is a fundamental tool for understanding how horizontal PD WECs work and designing an optimal device.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of horizontal PD WEC operation

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Fig. 3

Depth-dependent transfer function

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Fig. 2

Model of a horizontal PD WEC

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Fig. 4

Length-dependent transfer function

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Fig. 5

Nondimensional pressure resource transfer function |Kp*|

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Fig. 6

Bretschneider spectrum and pressure resource spectra

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Fig. 7

Graphical display of optimization

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Fig. 8

Graphical display of two-parameter optimization

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Fig. 9

Weighted average wave spectrum, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, USA, 2011



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