Reference Model 5 (RM5): Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Converter

Yi-Hsiang Yu, Dale Jenne, Robert Thresher, Copping, E, Geerlofs, Simon, Hanna, A

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This report is an addendum to SAND2013-9040: Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies. This report describes an Oscillating Water Column Wave Energy Converter (OSWEC) reference model design in a complementary manner to Reference Models 1-4 contained in the above report. A conceptual design for a taut moored oscillating surge wave energy converterwas developed. The design had an annual electrical power of 108 kilowatts (kW), rated power of 360 kW, and intended deployment at water depths between 50 m and 100 m. The study includes structural analysis, power output estimation, a hydraulic power conversion chain system, and mooring designs. The results were used to estimate device capital cost and annual operation and maintenance costs. Thedevice performance and costs were used for the economic analysis, following the methodology presented in SAND2013-9040 that included costs for designing, manufacturing, deploying, and operating commercial-scale MEC arrays up to 100 devices. The levelized cost of energy estimated for the Reference Model 5 OSWEC, presented in this report, was for a single device and arrays of 10, 50, and 100units, and it enabled the economic analysis to account for cost reductions associated with economies of scale. The baseline commercial levelized cost of energy estimate for the Reference Model 5 device in an array comprised of 10 units is $1.44/kilowatt-hour (kWh), and the value drops to approximately $0.69/kWh for an array of 100 units.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages48
StatePublished - 2015

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-62861


  • NREL
  • oscillating wave energy converter
  • PNNL
  • reference model 5
  • RM5


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