Jul 25 2013

What in the future for these devices?

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  • After spending a countless amount of time on trying to perfect the device based on the observed problems of the test models, engineers have found that there is an optimal flap length of approximately 30 meters.
  • Hence the decision of making the 2nd generation Oyster with a flap that is 26 meters long. Additionally, it’s been discovered that the device can’t be too small because it’ll behave like a point absorber, nor can it be too big, otherwise its capture facture will be limited to a 50% efficiency.
  • Furthermore, based on mathematical projection curves and testing measures, in Matt Folley and al.’s studyii,, the mean capture factor of the second-generation device would be close to 71% higher than the previous (capture factor: 1st gen: 0.46; 2nd gen. 0.65).
  • Other potential ameliorations are:

–       Making the flap multi-resonant

–       Putting a specific (but not yet determined) number of flaps in parallel arrangements.

–       Optimizing the q-factor (it measures the benefits of mutual wave interaction over isolated devices)

–       Adding a non-zero thickness to the flap

–       Placing two flaps back-to-back to improve energy absorption

  • The last suggestion in Folley, Whittaker and Osterried’s studyii was to reduce the size of the water column or clearance underneath the paddle may help improve the behavior of the water column and consequently increase the power capture of the device.

[i] Wave energy absorption by a flap-type oscillating wave surge converter, R. PORTER1† AND N. R. T. BIGGS (under consideration for publication in J. Fluid Mech.)


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