This paper presents a study on how the power absorption and damping in a linear generator for wave energy conversion are affected by partial overlap between stator and translator. The theoretical study shows that the electrical power as well as the damping coefficient change quadratically with partial stator overlap, if inductance, friction and iron losses are assumed independent of partial stator overlap or can be neglected. Results from onshore experiments on a linear generator for wave energy conversion cannot reject the quadratic relationship. Measurements were done on the inductance of the linear generator and no dependence on partial stator overlap could be found. Simulations of the wave energy converter’s operation in high waves show that entirely neglecting partial stator overlap will overestimate the energy yield and underestimate the peak forces in the line between the buoy and the generator. The difference between assuming a linear relationship instead of a quadratic relationship is visible but small in the energy yield in the simulation. Since the theoretical deduction suggests a quadratic relationship, this is advisable to use during modeling. However, a linear assumption could be seen as an acceptable simplification when modeling since other relationships can be computationally costly.
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