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Investigation on the hydrodynamic scaling effect of an OWC type wave energy device using experiment and CFD simulation

Dai, Saishuai, Day, Sandy, Yuan, Zhiming, Wang, Haibin
Renewable energy 2019 v.142 pp. 184-194
Reynolds number, energy conversion, hydrodynamics, models, tanks, water power
This paper presents a study of the effect of model scale on the performance of a fixed Oscillating Water Column (OWC) type Wave Energy Converter (WEC). Tank tests at two different scales, including the effect of scaling of the test tanks to minimise the bias introduced by different wave blockage effects. CFD simulations based on Reynolds Average Navier Stokes (RANS) method were then carried out for both scaled OWCs to investigate whether CFD simulation is able to reproduce the scale effect. Comparison between the tank test results and the CFD simulation results suggests that CFD simulation is capable of reproducing the hydrodynamic scaling effect with a good accuracy. Results also suggest that the hydrodynamic scaling effect is mainly introduced by the Reynolds number effect for cases investigated in the current study.