Hydrodynamic performance of a floating breakwater as an oscillating-buoy type wave energy converter

Hengming Zhang, Binzhen Zhou, Christopher Vogel, Richard Wilden, Jun Zang, Liang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (SciVal)
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Combined floating breakwater and wave energy converter systems have the potential to provide a cost-effective solution to offshore power supply and coastal protection. This will make wave energy economically competitive and commercial-scale wave power operations possible. This paper investigates the hydrodynamic features of wave energy converters that meet the dual objectives of wave energy extraction and attenuation for such a combined system. A two-dimensional numerical model was established using Star-CCM+ commercial software based on viscous Computational Fluid Dynamics theory to investigate the hydrodynamic performance of an oscillating buoy Wave Energy Converter (WEC) type floating breakwater under regular waves. The model proposed in this paper was verified with published experimental results. The hydrodynamics of symmetric and asymmetric floaters were investigated to demonstrate their wave attenuation and energy extraction performance, including square bottomed, triangular bottomed (with and without a baffle plate), and the Berkley Wedge. The asymmetric floaters were found to have higher power conversion efficiency and better wave attenuation performance, especially the Berkeley Wedge bottom device and the triangular-baffle bottom device. The triangular-baffle bottom device with a simpler geometry achieved similar wave attenuation and energy extraction performance characteristics to that of the Berkeley Wedge device. The maximum energy conversion efficiency of the triangular-baffle bottom floater reached up to 93%, an impressive WEC device among many designs for wave energy conversion. There may be a great potential for this newly proposed triangular-baffle bottom WEC type of floater to be an ideal coastal structure for both coastal protection and wave energy extraction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113996
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalApplied Energy
Early online date20 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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