Absorbed power density approach for optimal design of heaving point absorber wave energy converter: A case study of Durban sea characteristics





Cylindrical buoy; Heave motion; Absorbed power; Power density; Optimal sizing.


This work proposes an approach for the optimal sizing of a cylindrical heaving wave energy converter (WEC). The approach is based on maximising the absorbed power density (APD) of the buoy, with the diameter being the decision variable. Furthermore, two types of buoy shapes were compared to get the best option. The two buoy shapes are the cone cylinder buoy (CCB) and the hemisphere cylinder buoy (HCB). The aim was therefore to determine the best shape and as well as the optimal size of the cylindrical point absorber. To validate the approach, the simulation was performed under Durban (South Africa) sea characteristics of 3.6 m wave significant height and 8.5 s peak period, using the openWEC simulator. The buoy diameter range considered was from 0.5 m to 10 m for both shapes. Simulation results revealed that a diameter of 1 m was the optimal solution for both buoy shapes. Furthermore, the APD method revealed that the HCB was more efficient than the CCB. The power density of the HCB was 1070 W/m2, which was almost double the power density of the CCB, while the two shapes present almost the same absorbed power.


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How to Cite

Mutombo, N. M.-A., & Numbi, B. P. . (2022). Absorbed power density approach for optimal design of heaving point absorber wave energy converter: A case study of Durban sea characteristics. Journal of Energy in Southern Africa, 33(1), 52–67. https://doi.org/10.17159/2413-3051/2022/v33i1a10381