Significant progress made in floating OWC technology developed by GIEC
In June 2018, the conversion efficiency test report of the new type of floating Oscillating Water Column(OWC) generation prototype developed by Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, Chinese Academy of Sciences (GIEC) was issued by National Ocean Technology Center（NOTC）. It is the first report about wave energy conversion prototype issued by a third party in China.
In March 2018, the estimation test of the new floating OWC generation prototype, which is 1.3t weigh (including 0.4t of ballast), 4m long, 1.79m wide(Fig.1), was conducted in the wave basin with 130m in length, 18m in breadth and 4.52 in depth. The test results showed that the peak of the wave to wire efficiency of the prototype is up to 35.7% in regular waves under battery load, and up to 26.7% in random waves under battery load. The average charging power is 5.11 watts at 0.08m wave height and 2.46s wave period. The new OWC prototype presents low cost and high conversion efficiency. Oscillating Water Column (OWC) wave energy converter is a major class of wave energy converters (WECs). The main advantage of the OWC versus most other WECs is its simplicity: the only moving part of the energy conversion mechanism is the rotor of a turbine, located above water level, directly driving a conventional electrical generator, while the main disadvantage of the OWC technology is its high cost and low conversion efficiency to date.
“Air turbine generating set is a key equipment of OWC technology. With the improvement of the conversion efficiency of the air turbine generator set, there is still room for further improvement in the conversion efficiency of this new porotype developed by GIEC”, said by Prof. WU Bijun, the PI of the project.
Fig. The new floating OWC prototype in the water tank