An Investigation Into the Hydrodynamic Efficiency of an Oscillating Water Column

M.T. Morris-Thomas, R.J. Irvin, Krish Thiagarajan

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    156 Citations (Scopus)


    An oscillating water column device enables the conversion of wave energy into electrical energy via wave interaction with a semi-submerged chamber coupled with a turbine for power take off. This present work concentrates on the wave interaction with the semi-submerged chamber whereby a shore based oscillating water column (OWC) is studied experimentally to examine energy efficiencies for power take-off. The wave environment considered comprises plane progressive waves of steepnesses ranging from kA =0.01 to 0.22 and water depth ratios varying from kh=0.30 to 3.72, where k, A, and h denote the wave number wave amplitude, and water depth, respectively. The key feature of this experimental campaign is a focus on the influence of front wall geometry on the OWCs performance. More specifically, this focus includes: front wall draught, thickness, and aperture shape of the submerged front wall. We make use of a two-dimensional inviscid theory for an OWC for comparative purposes and to explain trends noted in the experimental measurements. The work undertaken here has revealed a broad banded efficiency centered about the natural frequency of the OWC. The magnitude and shape of the efficiency curves are influenced by the geometry of the front wall. Typical peak magnitude resonant efficiencies are in the order of 70%.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)273-278
    JournalJournal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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