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  • Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Volume 626
  • May 2009, pp. 395-414

Wave power extraction from an oscillating water column at the tip of a breakwater

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 10 May 2009

To reduce the costs of construction, operation, maintenance, energy storage and grid connection, some devices for extracting energy from sea waves are likely to be installed on the coast. We study theoretically a single oscillating water column (OWC) installed at the tip of a long and thin breakwater. The linearized problems of radiation and scattering for a hollow cylinder with an open bottom are then solved by the usual method of eigenfunction expansions and integral equations. Since a thin breakwater is the limit of a wedge, an exact solution for the diffraction by a solid cylinder at the tip of a wedge is derived to facilitate the analysis. Following Sarmento & Falcão (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 150, 1985, pp. 467–485), power takeoff by Wells turbines is modelled by including air compressibility in the chamber above the water surface. The effects of air compressibility on the extraction efficiency is studied. It is shown that for this simple geometry the angle of incidence affects the waves outside the structure but not the extracted power.

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D. V. Evans 1978 The oscillating water column wave energy device. J. Inst. Math. Appl. 22, 423433.

D. V. Evans 1981 Power from water waves. Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 13, 157187.

D. V. Evans 1988 The maximum efficiency of wave-energy devices near coast lines. Appl. Ocean Res. 10, 162164.

D. V. Evans & R. Porter 1995 Hydrodynamics characteristics of an oscillating water column device. Appl. Ocean Res. 17, 155164.

D. V. Evans & R. Porter 1997 Efficient calculation of hydrodynamic properties of OWC-type devices. J. Offshore Mech. Arctic Engng 119, 210218.

A. F. de O. Falcão 2002 Control of an oscillating-water-column wave power plant for maximum energy production. Appl. Ocean Res. 24, 5971.

P. McIver & D. V. Evans 1988 An approximate theory for the performance of a number of wave-energy devices set into a reflecting wall. Appl. Ocean Res. 10, 5865.

J. N. Newman 1979 Absorption of wave energy by elongated bodies. Appl. Ocean Res. 1, 189196.

S. H. Salter 1974 Wave power. Nature 249, 720724.

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