Laboratory tests and numerical modelling in the development of WaveCat
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The WaveCat Wave Energy Converter is a novel overtopping WEC tested with the aim of establishing a starting point for numerical model validation using device performance and motions under different sea states. The tests were carried out at a 1:30 scale in the Ocean Basin of the COAST Laboratory at the University of Plymouth. A state-of-the-art control system was implemented, and overtopping rates and device motions were recorded alongside the wave field.
The WaveCat consists of two converging hulls containing four tanks in each hull to capture overtopping water. The captured water is then released through low head turbines to generate power. The device has a length of 3 m, height of 0.6 m and maximum width of 0.4 m at model scale.
The device motion was measured using a Qualisys motion capture system and a series of reflective markers placed along the model to capture translational and rotational movement. The numerical validation of the device is performed in STAR-CCM+ using the movement and power data collected during the laboratory tests. Once validated, the numerical model will be used to optimise the device and further experimental campaigns will be carried out.
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