Laboratory Tests in the Development of WaveCat
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WaveCat, a novel overtopping Wave Energy Converter, was tested with the aim of determining its performance under different sea states, establishing a starting point for optimisation of the device, numerical model validation and proof-of-concept for the control systems. The tests were carried out at a 1:30 scale in the Ocean Basin of the COAST Laboratory at University of Plymouth. A state-of-the-art control system was implemented, and overtopping rates and device motions were recorded alongside the wave field. It was observed that power generation is dependent on both the wave height and period, with smaller periods tending to produce greater overtopping rates, and therefore greater power generation, for the same wave height. Due to time constraints in the laboratory, only one configuration of draft/freeboard was tested; with this configuration, overtopping occurred under significant wave heights of 0.083 m or more, corresponding to 2.5 m or more in prototype values. These experimental results form the basis for future development and optimisation of WaveCat.
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