Wave Energy Converters (WECs) have excellent potential as a source of renewable energy that is yet to be commercially realised. Recent attention has been focused on the installation of Oscillating Water Column (OWC) devices as part of breakwaters or harbour walls to provide advantages of cost-sharing structures and proximity of power generation facilities to existing infrastructure. In this paper, a time- domain numerical model of a fixed Multi-Chamber Oscillating Water Column (MC-OWC) is developed in MATLAB. This model is validated against a scale model experiments performed in a wave flume and good agreement is found. The validated model is used to investigate the effect of the power take-off damping on device performance parameters for a given environmental condition.
There is a growing interest around the world in utilising wave energy for the generation of electrical power (Falnes 2007). For coastal regions or some remote islands, wave energy is a promising renewable power source due to its predictability. Recently, prototypes of various Wave Energy Converters (WECs) have been developed around the world to try to meet renewable energy targets (Esteban et al. 20'2; Hayward et al. 2011). Most WECs are at the early stage of development (Clément et al. 2002; Delmonte et al. 2016; Magagna et al. 2015). The Oscillating Water Column device (OWC) is considered as one of the more successful devices for extracting energy from sea waves (Falnes 2007). The device can be deployed as a shore-based structure, such as the Pico plant in Portugal (Falcão 2000), integrated in a breakwater, such as in the harbour of Sakata, Japan (Takahashi et al. 1993), near-shore bottom-standing strctures, such as the PK1 prototype that was tested off the coast of Port- Kembla in 2005 by Oceanlinx Ltd (Alcorn et al. 2005), or a floating platform, such as the Mighty Whale developed by the Japan Marine Science and Technology Center (Washio et al. 2000). Several articles have presented reviews on general wave power research and the status of several ongoing wave energy projects (Falcão et al. 2015). The aim of future phases in the development of wave energy devices is the installation of multiple devices in various configurations (Khan et al. 2017; Uihlein et al. 2016). This will allow extraction of significant power using more economically viable wave farms based on the economy of large-scale deployment.
In this paper, the physical measurements from Shalby et al. (2016b) are employed to validate a simplified time-domain model developed in the Simulink/MATLAB environment to assess device performance.