Simulation of an Oscillating Water Column (OWC-WEC)

Waves have the potential to provide a sustainable source of energy, which can be captured and converted into electricity by Wave Energy Converters (WEC) machines. WECs are being developed to extract energy from shoreline and from the deeper waters offshore. 

Oscillating water column (OWC) devices consist of a partially submerged reservoir with water column (open to the sea below the water line) and a column of trapped air. The ocean waves change water level inside the tank, which in turn compresses and decompresses the air column. This trapped air is allowed to flow to and from the atmosphere via a turbine, which usually has the ability to rotate regardless of the direction of the airflow. The rotation of the turbine is used to generate electricity.

The following images show the validation of DualSPHysics reproducing the experiment of Iturrioz et al. (2014). The experiment (with geometrical scale of 1/30) was carried out in the IH-Cantabria wave flume. The tank is 20.60 m long and the water depth was of 0.60 m. A dissipative beach appeared at the end of the flume to avoid reflection. Free-surface elevation was measured in the middle of OWC chamber with the time-domain model, IH-Foam and DualSPHysics and compared with the experimental data. A good agreement can be observed for regular waves of T=3.2 s and H=0.08m with d=0.6m. Some images of the simulation with DualSPHysics can be also observed in the bottom.  


More information in:

Crespo AJC, Altomare C, Domínguez JM, González-Cao J, Moncho Gómez-Gesteira M. 2017. Towards simulating floating offshore Oscillating Water Column converters with Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics. Coastal Engineering, 126: 11-16.