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Effect of the Incident Wave Angle on the Hydrodynamic Performance of a Land-Based OWC Device

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Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Numerical Modelling in Engineering


The majority of experiments on fixed Oscillating Water Column (OWC) systems assume that water waves impact perpendicularly on the front wall of the device. However, this seldom occurs in practice due to wave transformation, which occurs when waves interact with shifting bottom profiles resulting in wave reflection, refraction and shoaling. The wave angle of incidence is of paramount relevance because it can alter the performance of the OWC device, particularly the natural period at which the device resonates. Therefore, this work investigates the interaction of directional waves with a fixed land-based OWC device. Theoretical and experimental techniques to study the effect of wave direction on the device hydrodynamic performance are described. The mathematical problem for the theoretical approaches is formulated using two-dimensional linear wave theory. The conventional eigenfunction expansion method (EEM) and the Boundary Element Method (BEM) are used to solve the governing equation together with the boundary conditions. Then, a series of experimental tests under regular wave conditions were carried out in a directional wave basin to compare and validate the theoretical results. The effects of wave angle of incidence on hydrodynamic efficiency are examined. Analytical and numerical predictions of the resonance frequency for different wave angles of incidence were found to be in good agreement when compared with experimental tests. Findings reveal that the resonant frequency of the system increases exponentially when the incident wave angle increases, a trend that is more visible for wave angles beyond 15\(^\circ \). Results indicate that analytical and numerical techniques can be employed as design tools to estimate the natural frequency of the system when it interacts with oblique regular waves.

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The present study was conducted within the framework of CEMIE-Océano (Mexican Centre for Innovation in Ocean Energy). Project FSE-2014-06-249795 financed by CONACYT-SENER- Sustentabilidad Energética. The authors would like to thank the Basque Government through the research group (IT1514-22) for the guidance provided.

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Correspondence to Ayrton Alfonso Medina Rodríguez .

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In this work, the following abbreviations are used:



Boundary element method


Eigenfunction expansion method


Mutriku Wave Power Plant


Oscillating water column


Pressure sensor


Power take-off


Wave energy converter


Wave gauge





Front wall draft


Chamber length


Thick front wall boundary


Horizontal bottom boundary


Gap length


Rigid vertical wall boundary


Group velocity


Chamber width


Total energy per wave period


External free surface


Internal free surface


Gravitational acceleration


Water depth


Wave height


Wave number


Model height


Normal unit vector


Spatial pressure distribution


Available power over one wave period


Average power absorbed from regular waves


Volume flux


Radiated volume flux


Scattered volume flux


Distance between X and Y


Water plane area of the OWC chamber




Incident wave period


Initial time in the steady state region


Final time in the steady state region


Instantaneous free surface velocity


Front wall thickness


Horizontal axis


Source point


Field point


Vertical axis


Greek Letters  

\(\alpha \):

Internal angle parameter

\(\varGamma \):


\(\varepsilon \):

Hydrodynamic efficiency

\(\eta \):

Free surface elevation

\(\theta \):

Wave angle of incidence

\(\lambda \):


\(\rho \):

Density of water

\(\phi \):

Spatial velocity potential

\(\phi ^{D}\):

Diffracted velocity potential

\(\phi ^{I}\):

Incident velocity potential

\(\phi ^{R}\):

Radiated velocity potential

\(\phi ^{S}\):

Scattered velocity potential

\(\varPhi \):

Time-dependent velocity potential

\(\psi \):

2D fundamental solution of Helmholtz equation

\(\omega \):

Angular frequency


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Medina Rodríguez, A.A. et al. (2023). Effect of the Incident Wave Angle on the Hydrodynamic Performance of a Land-Based OWC Device. In: Abdel Wahab, M. (eds) Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Numerical Modelling in Engineering. Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering, vol 311. Springer, Singapore.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-981-19-8428-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-981-19-8429-7

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