Hydrodynamic performance of a dual-floater hybrid system combining a floating breakwater and an oscillating-buoy type wave energy converter

Hengming Zhang, Binzhen Zhou, Christopher Vogel, Richard Wilden, Jun Zang, J Geng

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The high cost of power generation impedes commercial-scale wave power operations. The objective of this work is to provide a cost-sharing solution by combining wave energy extraction and coastal protection. A two-dimensional numerical wave tank was developed using Star-CCM+ Computational Fluid Dynamics software to investigate the hydrodynamic performance of a dual-floater hybrid system consisting of a floating breakwater and an oscillating-buoy type wave energy converter (WEC), and was compared with published experimental results. The differences between the hydrodynamic performance of the hybrid system, a single WEC and a single breakwater were compared. Wave resonance in the WEC-breakwater gap has a significant impact on system performance, with the hybrid system demonstrating both better wave attenuation and wave energy extraction capabilities at low wave frequencies, i.e., wider effective frequency. Forces on the breakwater were generally reduced due to the WEC. Wave resonance in the narrow gap has an adverse effect on the energy efficiency of the hybrid system with an asymmetric WEC, while a beneficial effect with a symmetric WEC. The wave energy conversion efficiency of hybrid system can be improved by increasing the draft and width of the WEC and decreasing the distance between the WEC and the breakwater. The findings of this paper make wave energy economically competitive and commercial-scale wave power operations possible.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114212
JournalApplied Energy
Early online date26 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

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