Development of a Nearshore Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Converter with Variable Geometry

Nathan Tom, Michael Lawson, Yi-Hsiang Yu, Alan Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus Citations


This paper presents an analysis of a novel wave energy converter concept that combines an oscillating surge wave energy converter (OSWEC) with control surfaces. The control surfaces allow for a variable device geometry that enables the hydrodynamic properties to be adapted with respect to structural loading, absorption range and power-take-off capability. The device geometry is adjusted on a sea state-to-sea state time scale and combined with wave-to-wave manipulation of the power take-off (PTO) to provide greater control over the capture efficiency, capacity factor, and design loads. This work begins with a sensitivity study of the hydrodynamic coefficients with respect to device width, support structure thickness, and geometry. A linear frequency domain analysis is used to evaluate device performance in terms of absorbed power, foundation loads, and PTO torque. Previous OSWEC studies included nonlinear hydrodynamics, in response a nonlinear model that includes a quadratic viscous damping torque that was linearized via the Lorentz linearization. Inclusion of the quadratic viscous torque led to construction of an optimization problem that incorporated motion and PTO constraints. Results from this study found that, when transitioning from moderate-to-large sea states the novel OSWEC was capable of reducing structural loads while providing a near constant power output.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)410-424
Number of pages15
JournalRenewable Energy
Issue numberPart A
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-64377


  • Linearization
  • Oscillating surge wave energy converter
  • Structural load control
  • Variable structures


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