A numerical approach for hydrodynamic performance evaluation of multi-degree-of-freedom floating oscillating water column (OWC) devices

Peiwen Cong, Bin Teng, Yingyi Liu, Dezhi Ning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


A numerical approach has been developed in this study for hydrodynamic analysis of complex-shaped oscillating water column (OWC) converters. Physically, in the circumstance when the device is free to move or moored in waves, the airflow movement inside the chamber is coupled tightly with the changing of the internal fluid surface and the hydrodynamic response of the device. By taking these coupling effects into account, appropriate boundary integral equations are formulated with supplemental theoretical relations. The boundary value problem is then solved using a higher-order boundary element method (HOBEM). After obtaining the wave force and dynamic air force, the coupled motions and hydrodynamic efficiency are evaluated by integration. In particular, unlike conventional methods limited to fixed OWCs, the proposed method is proved applicable to those floating with coupled rigid-body motions. An optimal turbine parameter is hence mathematically derived to maximise the wave power absorption. Besides the linear quantities, nonlinear wave drift loads are evaluated via a newly derived formulation that accounts for the far-field contribution and the oscillating air pressure over the internal fluid surface. Based on the above methodology and the resulting tool, numerical studies are carried out for three cylindrical OWC scenarios that are floating in waves, attached by a reflector and connected to a submerged caisson, respectively. Different modes of body motion and typical free-surface oscillation modes in the chamber are analysed and discussed. It is found that, for an OWC with an attached arc-shaped reflector or connected to a submerged caisson, its wave power absorption can be characterised by a series of apparent peaks which are associated with the resonant internal fluid and in close proximity to the resonance frequencies of body motions involving surge, heave or pitch. Numerical results also indicate the benefits of floating OWCs from the coupled rigid-body motion modes and OWC's resonance, expanding the frequency range of efficient conversion and improving the device's adaptability to variable oceanic environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103730
JournalJournal of Fluids and Structures
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A numerical approach for hydrodynamic performance evaluation of multi-degree-of-freedom floating oscillating water column (OWC) devices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this