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Frequency-domain hydrodynamic modelling of dense and sparse arrays of wave energy converters

Wei, Y., Barradas-Berglind, J.J., Yu, Z., van Rooij, M., Prins, W.A., Jayawardhana, B., Vakis, A.I.
Renewable energy 2019 v.135 pp. 775-788
energy conversion, equations, hydrodynamics, hydrologic models, mathematical models, water power
In this work, we develop a frequency-domain model to study the hydrodynamic behaviour of a floater blanket (FB), i.e., an array of floater elements individually connected to power take-off (PTO) systems, which constitutes the core technology of the novel Ocean Grazer (OG) wave energy converter (WEC). The boundary element method open-source code NEMOH is used to solve the scattering and radiation problem. The aforementioned floater elements that comprise the FB are mechanically interconnected via (cylindrical, revolutional or spring) joints, which add extra constraint equations to the multibody problem. Various scenarios are investigated to understand the hydrodynamic response of the FB. The variation of the capture factor, PTO damping coefficients, q-factor and response amplitude operator (RAO) of each scenario are analysed, in order to quantify the device performance. A new concept based on a negative-stiffness spring joint is proposed to increase the energy output of the FB. Attention is also paid to the anti-resonance that is found in the numerical simulations. This study provides further insight into the hydrodynamic behaviour of dense or sparse interconnected arrays of WECs, which is fundamental for the design and optimisation of the OG-WEC.