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Numerical and Experimental Analysis of a Novel Wave Energy Converter

TitleNumerical and Experimental Analysis of a Novel Wave Energy Converter
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsRhinefrank, K., A. A. Schacher, J. Prudell, J. Cruz, N. Jorge, C. Stillinger, D. Naviaux, T. K. A. Brekken, A. von Jouanne, D. Newborn, S. C. Yim, and D. Cox
Conference NameASME 2010 29th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
Pagination559 - 567
Date Published06/2010
Conference LocationShanghai, China

A novel point absorber wave energy converter (WEC) is being developed by Columbia Power Technologies, LLC (CPT). Numerical and physical experiments have been performed by Columbia Power, Garrad Hassan and Partners (GH) and Oregon State University (OSU). Three hydrodynamic modeling tools including WAMIT, GH WaveFarmer, and OrcaFlex are used to evaluate the performance of the WEC. GH WaveFarmer is a specialized numerical code being developed specifically for the wave energy industry. Performance and mooring estimates at full scale were initially evaluated and optimized, which were then followed by the development of a 1/33rd scale physical model to obtain comparable datasets, aiming to validate the predictions and reduce the uncertainty associated with other numerical model results. The tests of the 1/33rd scale model of the CPT WEC were recently carried out at the multi-directional wave basin of the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory (HWRL), in conjunction with the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) at OSU. This paper presents details of the modeling program and progress to date. Emphasis is given to the coupling of WAMIT with GH WaveFarmer for performance estimates and the coupling of WAMIT with the OrcaFlex model for mooring load estimates. An overview of the novel 3-body WEC, including operation and mooring system, is also presented. The 1/33rd scale model functionality is described including an overview of the experimental setup at the basin. Comparisons between the numerical and experimental results are shown for both regular and irregular waves and for several wave headings and dominant directions using a number of spreading functions. The paper concludes with an overview of the next steps for the modeling program and future experimental test plans.