Wave power extraction from a hybrid oscillating water column-oscillating buoy wave energy converter
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Oscillating water column (OWC) devices and oscillating buoys (OBs) are two of the main types of wave energy converters (WECs). In this paper a hybrid oscillating water column-oscillating buoy wave energy converter is proposed, which we have named OWCOB. The oscillating buoy is hinged at the outer wall of the oscillating water column. As waves propagate through the OWCOB, the water column within the OWC chamber moves up and down, producing air flow to propel a turbine. Meanwhile, the oscillation of the OB drives a separate hydraulic system. To solve the wave diffraction and radiation problems of the OWCOB and investigate its energy capture performance, an analytical model is developed based on linear potential flow theory and the eigenfunction matching method. Assuming that the PTOs of the OWC and OB are both linear, the wave power extraction of the OWCOB is evaluated in the frequency domain. Of the two configurations considered, the OWCOB with the OWC opening waveward and the OB hinged leeward is found to have a broader primary frequency band of wave power capture compared to the OWCOB with the OWC opening and the OB on the same side. Further, a thorough sensitivity analysis of power capture is carried out considering the main design parameters (size and submergence of the OWC opening, distance between the OWC and the OB, OB hinge elevation, OB radius), which can form the basis of an optimization study for a particular wave climate. Importantly, we find that the OWCOB performs generally better than stand-alone OWCs and OBs, not least in terms of frequency bandwidth.
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