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Wave tank experiments on the power capture of a multi-axis wave energy converter


This paper presents a new concept of multi-axis wave energy converter (WEC), which can capture wave energy from multiple directions of motion. It describes the modelling of the multi-axis WEC and presents the results of laboratory experiments on the power capture of the multi-axis WEC in a wave tank subjected to synthesized scaled sea waves. The experiments investigate the influence of parameters such as buoy structure, damping and inertia modification (ballasting) on the hydrodynamic performance. The experimental results indicate that the multi-axis WEC yields very good performance under a variety of wave conditions. It is also demonstrated that, by utilizing more than one direction of motion, the multi-axis WEC proves capable of supplying more power than a single-axis WEC. This work constitutes a preliminary step towards the development of an advanced concept of WEC.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge the help and the support of Lancaster University Renewable Energy Group. This work is also supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51205346), Zhejiang province commonweal projects (No. 2014C31001), the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (863 Program) (No. 2011AA050201), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51120195001), the Program for Zhejiang Leading Team of S&T Innovation (No. 2010R50036), Science Fund for Creative Research Groups of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51221004), Open Foundation of the State Key Laboratory of Fluid Power Transmission and Control (No. GZKF-201311) and open funding program of Joint Laboratory of Flight Vehicle Ocean-based Measurement and Control (No. FOM2014OF10). This work was performed at Lancaster University Renewable Energy Group Wave Tank Testing Facilities in the UK.

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Correspondence to Dahai Zhang or Aggidis George.

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Zhang, D., George, A., Wang, Y. et al. Wave tank experiments on the power capture of a multi-axis wave energy converter. J Mar Sci Technol 20, 520–529 (2015).

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  • Wave energy converter (WEC)
  • Multi axis
  • Wave energy
  • Damping, wave tank experiment