AIMS Energy, 2017, 5(2): 209-223. doi: 10.3934/energy.2017.2.209

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Influence of design parameters on the structural and fatigue behaviors of a floating point wave energy converter

1 Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra, ISEC, DEM, Coimbra, Portugal
2 LAETA, IDMEC, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal

The demand for electricity production has been consistently raising since the last century. In the future, the tendency is to grow even further. Concerning this fact, renewable energy and specifically, wave energy should be considered as an alternative for energy production. However, devices suitable to harness this renewable energy source and convert it into electricity are not yet commercially competitive. This paper is focused on the structural analysis of a wave energy converter (WEC) through the numerical study of several design parameters. Tridimensional computer aided design (3D CAD) numerical models were built and several Finite Element Analyses (FEA) were performed using a commercial finite element code. The main components of the WEC were simulated assuming different materials. The Von Mises stress gradients and displacement fields determined by FEA demonstrated that, regardless of the WEC component, materials with low Young’s modulus seems to be unsuitable for this application. The same is valid for the material yield strength since materials with higher yield strength lead to a better structural behavior of the WEC components. The developed 3D CAD numerical model showed to be suitable to analyze different combinations of structural conditions.
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Copyright Info: © 2017, Pedro J. B. F. N. Beirão, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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