Analysis and Evaluation of the Wavebox Wave Energy Converter
Increasing attention to climate change in combination with ever-growing energy consumption worldwide has boosted the demand for new green energy sources. Wave power is developing in many different branches to become part of the new era of electricity production. This thesis deals with a wave power system in its primary stages of development. The system was investigated in order to estimate its potential to produce electric power from sea waves. It is a system consisting of a moored buoy to which the energy is transferred when the wave tilts the buoy in the pitch direction. Due to the increased pitch angle, an amount of liquid contained inside the buoy is allowed to flow via ramps to an upper container, from where it flows down through a hydroelectric turbine. A computer program was used to calculate the properties of the buoy in sea waves. Another program was written in MATLAB to simulate the movements in sea waves and from a set of given parameters calculate the power output. A brief economic study was made to determine if the power output was large enough for the concept to be of financial interest to any future investors. The results show that the wave power system produced 0.9 kW in a wave climate equal to that off the coast of Hanstholm, Denmark, and 1.6 kW in a wave climate off the coast of San Diego, USA. The economic study shows that the power output needed to be improved by a factor of at least five to have a chance of being economically viable. A number of enhancements were suggested to increase the power output of the system, and further investigation could be of use to improve the concept. The created computer simulation model, as well as the results in this thesis could be valuable in any future research on the concept.
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