Nowadays, drifters are used for a wide range of applications for researching and exploring the sea. However, the power constraint makes it difficult for their sampling intervals to be smaller, meaning that drifters cannot transmit more accurate measurement data to satellites. Furthermore, due to the power constraint, a modern Surface Velocity Program (SVP) drifter lives an average of 400 days before ceasing transmission. To overcome the power constraint of SVP drifters, this article proposes an adaptively counter-rotating wave energy converter (ACWEC) to supply power for drifters. The ACWEC has the advantages of convenient modular integration, simple conversion process, and minimal affection by the crucial sea environment. This article details the design concept and working principle, and the interaction between the wave energy converter (WEC) and wave is presented based on plane wave theory. To verify the feasibility of the WEC, the research team carried out a series of experiments in a wave tank with regular and irregular waves. Through experiments, it was found that the power and efficiency of the ACWEC are greatly influenced by parameters such as wave height and wave frequency. The maximum output power of the small scale WEC in a wave tank is 6.36 W, which allows drifters to detect ocean data more frequently and continuously.
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