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Flexible OWC WEC modelling

To validate the developed FSI analysis tool, a flexible OWC WEC device, Poly-A-OWC, is chosen as the analysis object. It’s a point absorbed WEC. The pressure inside the cylinder chamber, induced by incident waves, causes the water column moving up and down periodically, further deforming the flexible membrane at the top of the cylinder. The deformation of membrane can be used to generate electricity if a dielectric elastomer generator (DEG) material is used for membrane

In the numerical study, the following important factors are considered:
• Hyper-elastic material: capture the non-linear characteristics of material
• Multi-layer structure: increase the total power generation of the device
• Pre-stretching: contribute to the stabilization of dielectric elastomer

It’s noted that the PTO hasn’t been considered in the numerical simulation yet. The simulation results are shown in Fig.1 and Fig. 2, as seen, the passive deformation of the flexible membrane is successfully captured. In addition, with a FEA method, the stress distribution along the membrane, the pressure and wave elevation inside the air-chamber are well predicted. This will contribute to a better understanding of the performance of the flexible OWC WEC.

Fig. 1 Wave-structure interaction and flexible membrane deformation

Fig. 2 Time history of pressure and wave elevation at watch points