The cost of wave energy converters (WECs) can be reduced significantly by integrating WECs into other marine facilities, especially in sea areas with a mild wave climate. To reduce the cost and increase the efficiency, a hybrid WEC system, comprising a linear array (medium farm) of oscillating buoy-type WECs attached to the weather side of a fixed-type floating pontoon as the base structure is proposed. The performance of the WEC array is investigated numerically using a boundary element method (BEM) based on the linear potential flow theory. The linear power take-off (PTO) damping model is used to calculate the output power of the WEC array. The performance of the WEC array and each individual WEC device is balanced by using the mean interaction factor and the individual interaction factor. To quantify the effect of the pontoon, the hydrodynamic results of the WEC arrays with and without a pontoon are compared with each other. Detailed investigations on the influence of the structural and PTO parameters are performed in a wide wave frequency range. Results show that the energy conversion efficiency of a WEC array with a properly designed pontoon is much higher than that without a pontoon. This integration scheme can achieve the efficiency improvement and construction-cost reduction of the wave energy converters.
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