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Report RSE 16002025

Sviluppo del dispositivo WaveSAX: prove in laboratorio con turbine Wellsdel modello scala 1:5 progettazione del sistema di generazione controllo



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

ENEMAR 2015 - 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 in producing 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 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, two different configurations of Wells turbines has been realized an installed in the model scaled 1:5. After this, the WaveSAX device – compounded by fixed structure and turbine – has been tested in the ocean tank at the hydraulic lab of the French Engineering school “Centrale Nantes”.

In the second phase, the computational analysis of the physical model (1:5) ocean tank tests has been performed, using the RANS-CFD model (Reynolds’Averaged Navier-Stokes - Computational Fluid Dynamics). The most reliable measured data are imposed as boundary conditions of the numerical simulations to optimize the device performance, depending on the angular velocity of the Wells runner. Furthermore, a first implementation use of the OpenFOAM® for CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) – that due to its characteristics of Open Source code – it is foreseen to be applied for the next numerical analysis of the WaveSAX device development.

In the third phase, the design and construction of the generation and control system of the WaveSAX device scaled 1:5 has been realized, in order to perform the studies at the ocean wave tank aiming to complete the validation of WaveSAX device. 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 fourth phase, a preliminary assessment of the models for the evaluation of the costs associated with the WaveSAX manufacture, installation and operation and the levelised cost of the electricity has been carried out.

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