Design and development of a novel wave energy converter

Joubert, James Rattray (2013-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The design, development and evaluation of a novel wave energy converter (WEC) device, called the ShoreSWEC, in a South African port development is presented. Based on the device requirements, site selection criteria were specified and applied to identify a suitable deployment location. A wave modeling procedure was developed to determine the operational wave conditions and available wave power resource at the selected location. The site was found to have a low mean annual average resource of approximately 2.3 kilowatt per meter wave crest (kW/m) due to its relatively sheltered location. The wave model was further used to determine design storm conditions and a structural stability analysis of the device was conducted. Experimental tests were performed to evaluate the hydrodynamic conversion efficiency of a single chamber of the device at its most conservative orientation, under a variety of wave energy conditions. The effect of a floor incline and an additional chamber on the performance of the system was investigated. The incline improved efficiency for low wave heights, making it ideal for the low wave power resource conditions of the site, whilst the multi-chamber system experienced increased performance at high wave periods. A comparison between the ShoreSWEC and a conventional oscillating water column (OWC) WEC showed that the OWC extracted 72% more energy, highlighting the sensitivity of performance on device orientation. A three-dimensional (3D) numerical model of the experimental setup was developed. The numerical model provided comparable water surface elevations inside the flume and chamber, yet predicted significantly higher internal chamber pressures and overall efficiency. The electricity generation potential of a 10 chamber ShoreSWEC at the specified location, approximated from the experimental results and 11 years of hindcast wave data, was found to be 6 kW on average for a 15 kW capacity system. Results of this study highlighted the need for greater understanding of the hydrodynamic characteristics of a full length device. Experimental tests in a 3D wave basin on a scaled full length ShoreSWEC model are therefore recommended. Once conducted, South Africa will be one step closer to the deployment of the full scale SWEC device.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die ontwerp, ontwikkeling en evaluasie van ‘n unieke golfenergieomsetter (GEO), genaamd die ShoreSWEC, in ‘n Suid-Afrikaanse haweontwikkeling word aangebied. Terrein evaluasie kriteria, gebaseer op die omsettervereistes, is ontwikkel en toegepas om die mees belowende terrein te identifiseer. ‘n Golfmodeleringsprosedure is ontwikkel om die operasionele golfkondisies en beskikbare golfdrywinghulpbron te bepaal. Daar is gevind dat die terrein ‘n lae gemiddelde golfdrywing van bykans 2.3 kilowat per meter golfkruin het as gevolg van die beskutte ligging. Die golfmodel is verder gebruik om ontwerpstormkondisies te bepaal en ‘n stabiliteitsanalise was op die toestel struktuur uitgevoer. Eksperimentele toetse van verskeie golfenergie kondisies is gedoen om die hidrodinamiese omsettingseffektiwiteit van ‘n enkel kamer van die toestel te bepaal teen sy konserwatiefste orientasie. Die effek van ‘n vloerhelling en ‘n addisionele kamer op die uitsette van die sisteem is ondersoek. Die helling het effektiwiteit verbeter vir lae golfhoogtes wat dit ideaal maak vir die lae hulpbron by die terrein, terwyl die veelvoudige-kamer-sisteem beter gevaar het by hoë golfperiodes. ‘n Vergelyking tussen die ShoreSWEC en ‘n konvensionele ossilerende waterkolom (OWK) GEO het gewys dat die OWK 72% meer energie onttrek. Dit beklemtoon die sisteem se sensitiwiteit vir die inkomende golfrigting. ‘n Drie-dimensionele (3D) numeriese model van die eksperimentele opstelling is ontwikkel. Die numeriese model het aansienlik hoër drukke binne die kamer, en gevolglik algehele effektiwiteit, voorspel as die eksperimentele toetse. Die elektriese opwekkingskapasiteit van ‘n 10 kamer ShoreSWEC by die terrein, gebaseer op die eksperimentele resultate en 11 jaar se golfdata, is bereken as 6 kW gemiddeld vir ‘n 15 kW kapasiteit stelsel. Die bevindinge van hierdie studie het die behoefte aan ‘n beter begrip van die hidrodinamiese eienskappe van ‘n vollengte sisteem beklemtoon. Eksperimentele toetse in ‘n 3D golfbak op ‘n geskaleerde vollengte ShoreSWEC model word dus aanbeveel. Sodra dit voltooi is, sal Suid-Afrika een stap nader wees aan die ontplooiing van ‘n volskaalse SWEC toestel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85817
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