Performance of Resonant Chambers in Oscillating Water Column Devices
Keywords:Oscillating water column, resonant chamber, efficiency, wave energy
The utilization of marine power potential in Colombia holds a great promise, and the oscillating water column (OWC) is one option that deserves to be explored. The wave energy conversion process using an OWC typically involves two stages: the conversion of wave power to pneumatic power in an air chamber, and the conversion of pneumatic power to electricity using a selfrectifying air turbine coupled to an electric generator. In order to improve the efficiency of the primary stage, this study is aiming at determining the hydrodynamic performance of an OWC air chamber using a numerical model based on the Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equations and the Volume of Fluid approach for free surface simulation. The chamber geometry was based on a U-shaped OWC. The maximum efficiency and the mean velocity of the chamber free surface were found to be 66.8% and 0.17 m/s, respectively. The numerical results for the wave height obtained through simulation were validated by comparing them to analytical expressions reported in the existing literature, and a significant level of agreement was observed. Optimizing the chamber shape parameters for the specific wave characteristics is concluded to be crucial to enhance the operating efficiency of the OWC.