Preliminary Analysis of an Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Converter with Controlled Geometry: Preprint

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

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The aim of this paper is to present a novel wave energy converter device concept that is being developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The proposed concept combines an oscillating surge wave energy converter with active control surfaces. These active control surfaces allow for the device geometry to be altered, which leads to changes in the hydrodynamic properties. The device geometry will be controlled on a sea state time scale and combined with wave-to-wave power-take-off control to maximize power capture, increase capacity factor, and reduce design loads. The paper begins with a traditional linear frequency domain analysis of the device performance. Performance sensitivity to foil pitch angle, the number of activated foils, and foil cross section geometry is presented to illustrate the current design decisions; however, it is understood from previous studies that modeling of current oscillating wave energy converter designs requires the consideration of nonlinear hydrodynamics and viscous drag forces. In response, a nonlinear model is presented that highlights the shortcomings of the linear frequency domain analysis and increases the precision in predicted performance.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2015
EventEuropean Wave and Tidal Energy Conference - Nantes, France
Duration: 6 Sep 201511 Sep 2015


ConferenceEuropean Wave and Tidal Energy Conference
CityNantes, France

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-64545


  • active geometry
  • load shedding
  • NREL
  • oscillating surge WEC
  • time-varying parameters
  • wave energy converters
  • WEC


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