Abstract

Oscillating water column (OWC) wave energy converters are one of the most widely researched devices for ocean wave energy harvesting. This study investigates the hydrodynamic performance of a shore-fixed OWC device for different bottom slopes using two numerical approaches, namely, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and boundary integral equation method (BIEM). In the BIEM method, the boundary value problem is solved in two-dimensional Cartesian coordinates using the linear water wave theory. The CFD model uses a numerical wave tank (NWT) built using the volume of fluid (VOF) method. Numerical computations are carried out for different sloped bottom geometries and front wall drafts to analyze the hydrodynamic efficiency. There is a general agreement between CFD and BIEM results in terms of resonating behavior of the device. It is observed that the front wall draft has a more significant effect, a lower draft leading to a wider frequency band for optimum conversion at high efficiency. While the BIEM-based analysis resulted in improved performance curve for few of the steeper slopes, the CFD study predicted a lower peak efficiency for the same slopes due to the consideration of real fluid characteristics. Detailed performance comparisons are presented using the time histories of free surface elevation, chamber pressure, and streamlines at different time instants within the OWC chamber.

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