Numerical Investigations of the Hydrodynamics of an Oscillating Water Column Device
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionOcean Engineering 2015, 102:40-50 10.1016/j.oceaneng.2015.04.043
An oscillating water column (OWC) device is a renewable energy device that is used to extract ocean wave energy through the action of waves on a partially submerged chamber consisting of an air and a water column. The operation of an OWC device involves complex hydrodynamic interactions between the waves and the device and a good understanding of these interactions is essential for the design of hydrodynamically efficient and structurally stable devices. In this paper, a two-dimensional numerical wave tank is utilized to simulate the interaction of an OWC device with waves of different wavelengths and steepnesses. The chamber pressure, provided by a turbine in a prototype, is simulated using porous media flow theory in the numerical model. The pressure in the chamber and the velocity of the free surface are calculated to evaluate the efficiency of the device and the model is validated by comparing the numerical results with experimental data. The performance of the device under a range of wavelengths for different wave steepnesses is evaluated. The effect of wave steepness on the device efficiency at a lower wave steepness was found to be low, but a large reduction in performance was found in the presence of steep non-linear waves.