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Energies 2013, 6(6), 3033-3051;

Modeling of a Point Absorber for Energy Conversion in Italian Seas

Department of Electronics, Information Science and Bioengineering, Polytechnic Institute of Milan, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano, Italy
Department of Civil, Environmental and Materials Engineering, University of Bologna, Viale Risorgimento 2, 40136 Bologna, Italy
CIRI-EC Fluid dynamics unit, University of Bologna, Via del Lazzaretto 15-5, 40131 Bologna, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 March 2013 / Revised: 31 May 2013 / Accepted: 15 June 2013 / Published: 20 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy from the Ocean - Wave and Tidal Energy)
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In the present paper, we investigate the feasibility of wave electricity production in Italian seas by the deployment of the Seabased wave energy converter (WEC). A numerical model of the coupled buoy-generator system is presented, which simulates the behavior of the wave energy converter under regular waves of different wave heights and periods. The hydrodynamic forces, including excitation force, radiation impedance and hydrostatic force, are calculated by linear potential wave theory, and an analytical model is used for the linear generator. Two buoys of different radii are considered to explore the effect of buoy dimension on energy conversion and device efficiency. The power output is maximized by adding a submerged object to the floating buoy, in order to bring the system into resonance with the typical wave frequencies of the sites. The simulation results show a very good agreement with the published data on the Seabased WEC. The model is used to estimate energy production at eight Italian offshore locations. The results indicate that the degree of utilization of the device is higher than 20% at the two most energetic Italian sites (Alghero and Mazara del Vallo) and that it can be considerably increased if the floating body is connected to a submerged object, thanks to the resonant behavior of the WEC. In this case, the degree of utilization of the device would be higher than 40% at most of the study sites, with the highest value at Mazara del Vallo. The work enlarges the perspective, to be confirmed by experimental tests and more accurate numerical modeling, on clean electric power production from ocean waves in the Italian seas. View Full-Text
Keywords: wave energy; Italian seas; point absorber; linear generator; simulation wave energy; Italian seas; point absorber; linear generator; simulation

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Bozzi, S.; Miquel, A.M.; Antonini, A.; Passoni, G.; Archetti, R. Modeling of a Point Absorber for Energy Conversion in Italian Seas. Energies 2013, 6, 3033-3051.

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