Submerged Pressure Differential Plate Wave Energy Converter with Variable Geometry: Preprint

Nathan Tom, Yi-Hsiang Yu, Alan Wright

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This work presents a novel wave energy converter device concept that combines a submerged pressure differential plate with variable geometry modules. The two variable geometry sections, placed at the force and aft locations on the plate, consist of five identical flaps that are opened in ascending order starting with the flaps closest to the edges of the plate and moving inward. The variable geometry modules act as control surfaces that allow for the hull geometry to be adjusted leading to changes in the hydrodynamics. The device geometry is controlled in a quasi-static fashion while the power-take off (PTO) unit would be controlled on a wave-to-wave time scale. The submerged plate is tethered directly to the seabed by integrated mooring and PTO lines eliminating the need for a second reaction body. A linear frequency domain analysis is used to evaluate device performance in terms of absorbed power, PTO force, and absorber body motion. The frequency domain analysis required the linearization of the PTO dynamics to couple the fore and aft PTOs to the motion of the absorber body. The inclusion of the variable geometry modules was shown to be effective at altering the device geometry to provide changes in the absorber hydrodynamics to produce measurable reductions in structural and PTO loading.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2019
EventEuropean Wave and Tidal Energy Conference - Napoli, Italy
Duration: 1 Sep 20196 Sep 2019


ConferenceEuropean Wave and Tidal Energy Conference
CityNapoli, Italy

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-73490


  • hydrodynamics
  • load reduction
  • submerged wave energy converter
  • variable geometry


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