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CPOTE2020 logo
6th International Conference on
Contemporary Problems of Thermal Engineering
Online | 21-24 September 2020

Abstract CPOTE2020-1167-A

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Computational fluid dynamics models of Wells turbines for oscillating water column systems

Lorenzo CIAPPI, University of Florence, Italy
Michał STEBEL, Silesian University of Technology, Poland
Jacek SMOŁKA, Silesian University of Technology, Poland
Lorenzo CAPPIETTI, University of Florence, Italy
Giampaolo MANFRIDA, University of Florence, Italy

The sea is an important resource of renewable energy for its extension and the power conveyed by waves, currents, tides and thermal gradients. Amongst these physical phenomena, sea waves are the source with the highest energy density and may contribute to fulfilling the global increase of power demand. Despite the potential of sea waves, their harnessing is still a technological challenge. One of the simplest and most reliable solutions for the optimal exploitation of this source is represented by the oscillating water column systems operating with Wells turbines. With the aim to predict the operating curves of monoplane isolated Wells turbines, computational fluid dynamics models were developed. A three-dimensional multi-block technique was applied to create the computational domain of the air with a fully mapped mesh composed of hexahedral elements. The employment of circumferential periodic boundary conditions allowed for the reduction of computational power and time. The proposed models use RANS or u-RANS schemes with a multiple reference frame approach or the u-RANS formulation with a sliding mesh approach. In order to validate the implemented models, comparisons of the achieved results and literature analytical and experimental data were performed in environmental conditions typical of the Mediterranean Sea, showing a good agreement.

Keywords: Wells turbine, CFD models, Operating curves, OWC system, Wave energy
Acknowledgment: The research leading to the results presented received funding from the European Union and the Republic of Poland in the framework of the NAWA Project with grant agreement 10/P/2019.