Modeling and Simulation of a Wave Energy Converter INWAVE

Article English OPEN
Seung Kwan Song ; Yong Jun Sung ; Jin Bae Park (2017)
  • Publisher: MDPI AG
  • Journal: Applied Sciences (issn: 2076-3417)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3390/app7010099
  • Subject: wave energy converter | point absorber | on-shore energy absorbing unit | capture width ratio | Technology | T | Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General) | TA1-2040 | Biology (General) | QH301-705.5 | Physics | QC1-999 | Chemistry | QD1-999

INGINE Inc. developed its own wave energy converter (WEC) named INWAVE and has currently installed three prototype modules in Jeju Island, Korea. This device is an on-shore-type WEC that consists of a buoy, pulleys fixed to the sea-floor and a power take off module (PTO). Three ropes are moored tightly on the bottom of the buoy and connected to the PTO via the pulleys, which are moving back and forth according to the motion of the buoy. Since the device can harness wave energy from all six degrees of movement of the buoy, it is possible to extract energy efficiently even under low energy density conditions provided in the coastal areas. In the PTO module, the ratchet gears convert the reciprocating movement of the rope drum into a uni-directional rotation and determine the transmission of power from the relation of the angular velocities between the rope drum and the generator. In this process, the discontinuity of the power transmission occurs and causes the modeling divergence. Therefore, we introduce the concept of the virtual torsion spring in order to prevent the impact error in the ratchet gear module, thereby completing the PTO modeling. In this paper, we deal with dynamic analysis in the time domain, based on Newtonian mechanics and linear wave theory. We derive the combined dynamics of the buoy and PTO modules via geometric relation between the buoy and mooring ropes, then suggest the ratchet gear mechanism with the virtual torsion spring element to reduce the dynamic errors during the phase transitions. Time domain simulation is carried out under irregular waves that reflect the actual wave states of the installation area, and we evaluate the theoretical performance using the capture width ratio.
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