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Sensitivity Analysis for the Encaged Turbine Concept in Oscillating Water Column Plants

ISRN Renewable Energy
Publication Date
  • Design


Oscillating water column plants are one of the most popular wave energy device types. Prototype OWC units have been operating in various parts of the world since the mid-1980s and such developers have more field experience of this technology than any other relevant plant. The most common turbine used is the self-rectifying Well's turbine which has a rather low peak efficiency if compared to other designs but was preferred in terms of its simplicity and cycle performance. The present study exploits the merits of a new concept for the power extraction process, that of an encaged turbine for OWC plants, which allows conventional high-efficiency turbines to be employed in such plants. This is achieved by guiding the pressurized air into a sequence of three chambers, creating a unidirectional closed air circuit through the turbine. A theoretical model is deployed simulating the operation of the plant and a sensitivity analysis is carried out for the design and working parameters. Results indicate that the power extraction efficiency may exceed the 50% level in a real plant.

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