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Design and Numerical Analysis of a Novel Counter-Rotating Self-Adaptable Wave Energy Converter Based on CFD Technology

1
College of Mechatronics and Automation, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha 410073, China
2
School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, University of Manchester, Manchester M17JR, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2018, 11(4), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11040694
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 10 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Energy)
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Abstract

The lack of an efficient and reliable power supply is currently one of the bottlenecks restricting the practical application of unmanned ocean detectors. Wave energy is the most widely distributed ocean energy, with the obvious advantages of high energy density and predictability. In this paper, a novel wave energy converter (WEC) for power supply of low-power unmanned ocean detectors is proposed, which is a small-scale counter-rotating self-adaptive point absorber-type WEC. The double-layer counter-rotating absorbers can achieve the torque balance of the whole device. Besides, the self-adaptation of the blade to the water flow can maintain a unidirectional continuous rotation of the single-layer absorber. The WEC has several advantages, including small occupied space, simple exchange process and convenient modular integration. It is expected to meet the power demand of low-power ocean detectors. Through modeling and CFD analysis, it was found that the power and efficiency characteristics of WEC are greatly influenced by the relative flow velocity, the blade angle of the absorber and the interaction between the upper and lower absorbers. A physical prototype of the WEC was made and some related experiments were conducted to verify the feasibility of WEC working principle and the reliability of CFD analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: wave energy converter (WEC); computational fluid dynamics (CFD); counter-rotating; self-adaptive; performance characteristics wave energy converter (WEC); computational fluid dynamics (CFD); counter-rotating; self-adaptive; performance characteristics
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Sun, C.; Luo, Z.; Shang, J.; Lu, Z.; Zhu, Y.; Wu, G. Design and Numerical Analysis of a Novel Counter-Rotating Self-Adaptable Wave Energy Converter Based on CFD Technology. Energies 2018, 11, 694.

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