Impact of motion limits on sloped wave energy converter optimization

Pascal, Rémy and Payne, Grégory S. (2016) Impact of motion limits on sloped wave energy converter optimization. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 472 (2187). 20150768. ISSN 1471-2962 (

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In a previous article [1] (subsequently referred to as the ‘original study’ and whose prior reading is recommended to make the most of what follows), the authors explored the concept of sloped power take-off (PTO) for a free-floating wave energy converter (WEC) using linear potential flow theory. Part of the study focused on the optimization of four parameters: the mass reference m2, its vertical position wG2r, the PTO angle θ0 and the magnitude of the linear damping α. It was decided for the optimization part of the original study to exclude configurations exhibiting normalized motion amplitude (NMA) maxima in surge, heave and pitch above a certain limit, or threshold. This method to keep results realistic within the context of linear potential flow theory was chosen over adding extra damping coefficients to the hydrodynamic model. The reasoning is that, as the PTO angle varies between configurations, the PTO provides more or less damping in pitch for the same α. Therefore, some configurations require less additional hydrodynamic damping (representing shape drag) than others to keep pitch normalized motion amplitudes within a realistic limit. Adding a fixed additional damping in pitch would dissipate energy, and therefore penalize some configurations more than others.