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Report RSE 17004270

WaveSAX development: 1:5 model equipped with Wells turbine and generation and control system naval tank tests



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M. Peviani (RSE SpA) , A. Danelli (RSE SpA), A. Amicarelli (RSE SpA), G. Agate (RSE SpA), L. Serri (RSE SpA) , E. Lembo (RSE SpA)

ENEMAR 2016 - Marine Energy Conversion


The actual stage of marine energy development represents a unique chance to grow an economic sector in Italy that contributes to increase renewable energy production, to create new man labour and to improve competitiveness in this worldwide innovative technology. In our country, there is a growing interest inproducing electric energy from waves and marine currents, aiming to reach 3 MW installed power by 2020, as it is described in the renewable energy National Action Plan (NAP).

In this context, in the past years, it has been studied – considering different wave climates of the Mediterranean Sea - an innovative device, called WaveSAX, that converts wave motion energy into electricity, suitable for been installed in existing structures along the Italian coast.

The present deliverable, that shows the results of the study performed this year, is structured in four distinct phases.

In the first phase, with the aim to verify the performance of the rotor, a Wells turbine with 5 blades and an aluminium axle were constructed and installed in the 1: 5 scale model. In addition, a test validation of the generation and control system - developed in the previous year of research - was carried out in the bench test, aiming to perform ocean tank tests required to verify the device''s capacity to generate electricity.

In the second phase, it was developed the analysis of the results of the oceanic tank test carried out in the Hydraulic Laboratory of the Nantes Engineering Centers ("Ecole Centrale de Nantes", France) during the previous year of research. Furthermore, the implementation and the first results regarding the PTO (power take-off) test of the complete WaveSAX device (1: 5) in the CNR-INSEAN naval tank in Rome performed in the first months of 2017 are presented, as well. This tests will allow to pass to the next step of proving the device in real sea conditions (1:1), as reported in the protocol for Structured Development Plan of marine energy converters, proposed by Ocean Energy Systems (OES), followed in the WaveSAX development .

In the third stage, a numerical analysis was performed to evaluate the optimal conditions of the power generated by the device with a 5-bladed Wells turbine, using the RANS-CFD model (Reynolds’Averaged Navier-Stokes - Computational Fluid Dynamics). Furthermore, a first application of a SPH code was carried out to numerically simulate the wave conditions in the neighbourhood of the device and the influence on electric generation, that it is foreseen to be applied for the next numerical analysis of the WaveSAX device development.

Finally, in the fourth phase, based on literature and RSE experience in this type of assessment, consideration was given to the cost assessment associated with the construction of the WaveSAX device including considerations on the Livelable Cost of Energy (LCOE).

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