In the current study, a fully nonlinear two-dimensional numerical wave tank is developed using the commercial CFD software, Ansys Fluent 15.0, in order to study the absorption characteristics of an OWC at linear and highly nonlinear steep waves. The two-phase Volume-Of-Fluid (VOF) method is employed to predict the water free surface evolution. The numerical results are first validated against the available analytical data in the literature. The good agreement between the numerical results and those of analytics, revealed the capability of the developed numerical tank to study the performance of the OWC. Next, the simulations are performed for strongly nonlinear waves, up to the wave steepness of 0.069 (H/L=0.069), where H is the wave height and L is the wave length. The optimum pneumatic damping of the air turbine at such strongly steep and nonlinear waves is determined. Results show that the absorption efficiency of the OWC decreases considerably as the wave height increases. Moreover, the maximum wave energy absorption efficiency for the highly nonlinear waves occurs at a pneumatic damping coefficient lower than that of the linear theory.

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