Design and Experiment Analysis of a Direct-Drive Wave Energy Converter with a Linear Generator

Article English OPEN
Jing Zhang ; Haitao Yu ; Zhenchuan Shi (2018)
  • Publisher: MDPI AG
  • Journal: Energies (issn: 1996-1073)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3390/en11040735
  • Subject: wave energy conversion | tubular permanent magnet linear generator | finite element analysis | computational fluid dynamics | Technology | T

Coastal waves are an abundant nonpolluting and renewable energy source. A wave energy converter (WEC) must be designed for efficient and steady operation in highly energetic ocean environments. A direct-drive wave energy conversion (D-DWEC) system with a tubular permanent magnet linear generator (TPMLG) on a wind and solar photovoltaic complementary energy generation platform is proposed to improve the conversion efficiency and reduce the complexity and device volume of WECs. The operating principle of D-DWECs is introduced, and detailed analyses of the proposed D-DWEC’s floater system, wave force characteristics, and conversion efficiency conducted using computational fluid dynamics are presented. A TPMLG with an asymmetric slot structure is designed to increase the output electric power, and detailed analyses of the magnetic field distribution, detent force characteristics, and no-load and load performances conducted using finite element analysis are discussed. The TPMLG with an asymmetric slot, which produces the same power as the TPMLG with a symmetric slot, has one fifth detent force of the latter. An experiment system with a prototype of the TPMLG with a symmetric slot is used to test the simulation results. The experiment and analysis results agree well. Therefore, the proposed D-DWEC fulfills the requirements of WEC systems.
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