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

Authors
Publisher
ISRN Renewable Energy
Publication Date
Disciplines
  • Design

Abstract

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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