CFD optimisation of an oscillating water column wave energy converter

Michael Horko

    Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

    3104 Downloads (Pure)


    Although oscillating water column type wave energy devices are nearing the stage of commercial exploitation, there is still much to be learnt about many facets of their hydrodynamic performance. This research uses the commercially available FLUENT computational fluid dynamics flow solver to model a complete OWC system in a two dimensional numerical wave tank. A key feature of the numerical modelling is the focus on the influence of the front wall geometry and in particular the effect of the front wall aperture shape on the hydrodynamic conversion efficiency. In order to validate the numerical modelling, a 1:12.5 scale experimental model has been tested in a wave tank under regular wave conditions. The effects of the front lip shape on the hydrodynamic efficiency are investigated both numerically and experimentally and the results compared. The results obtained show that with careful consideration of key modelling parameters as well as ensuring sufficient data resolution, there is good agreement between the two methods. The results of the testing have also illustrated that simple changes to the front wall aperture shape can provide marked improvements in the efficiency of energy capture for OWC type devices.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2007


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