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Energies 2011, 4(10), 1574-1600; doi:10.3390/en4101574

On the Effects of Geometry Control on the Performance of Overtopping Wave Energy Converters

1
Department of Civil Engineering, Ghent University, Technologiepark 904, Zwijnaarde B-9052, Belgium
2
Department of Civil Engineering, Aalborg University, Sohngaardsholmsvej 57, Aalborg DK-9000, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 September 2011 / Revised: 13 October 2011 / Accepted: 14 October 2011 / Published: 19 October 2011
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Abstract

Overtopping wave energy converters (OWECs) are designed to extract energy from ocean waves based on wave overtopping into a reservoir, which is emptied into the ocean through a set of low-head turbines, and typically feature a low crest freeboard and a smooth impermeable steep slope. In the process of optimizing the performance of OWECs, the question arises whether adapting the slope geometry to the variable wave characteristics at the deployment site (i.e., geometry control) can increase the overall hydraulic efficiency and overall hydraulic power compared to a fixed slope geometry. The effect of five different geometry control scenarios on the overall hydraulic efficiency and overall hydraulic power of OWECs has been simulated for three possible deployment sites using empirical prediction formulae. The results show that the effect of an adaptive slope angle is relatively small. On the other hand, adapting the crest freeboard of the OWECs to the wave characteristics increases the overall hydraulic efficiency and power. Based on the simulations, gains in overall hydraulic power of at least 30% are achievable when applying an adaptive crest freeboard compared to a fixed crest freeboard.
Keywords: wave energy; overtopping; geometry control; slope angle; crest freeboard; hydraulic efficiency; hydraulic power wave energy; overtopping; geometry control; slope angle; crest freeboard; hydraulic efficiency; hydraulic power
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Victor, L.; Troch, P.; Kofoed, J.P. On the Effects of Geometry Control on the Performance of Overtopping Wave Energy Converters. Energies 2011, 4, 1574-1600.

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