AbstractThe University of ManchesterEfrain Carpintero MorenoDoctor of PhilosophyWave energy conversion based on multi-mode line absorbing systemsMarch 2015Wave energy conversion remains a promising technology with substantial renewable resources to be exploited in many parts of the world. However to be commercially attractive more effective conversion is desirable. There is scope for increasing power capture by use of several bodies responding with several modes, some or all of which may undergo resonance for frequencies within a wave climate. This theme is explored here with a floating moored line absorber system where the relative motion generates power by incorporation of a damper to represent the power take off. To be most effective the bodies should be responding in anti-phase requiring spacing between adjacent bodies of half a wavelength. First a converter design including two bodies is investigated experimentally and numerically responding solely in heave. The bodies have drafts to provide resonant frequencies within a wave spectrum, the stern diameter is as large as possible within the inertia regime and the bow diameter is optimised to provide maximum power. Experiments showed this system to be limited since the desirable anti phase heave modes were contaminated with other modes for off resonance response considerably reducing power generation. To stabilise motion in the desired modes another small float was introduced as the bow float rigidly connected by a beam to the mid float with the added benefit of adding forcing due to surge and pitch to some degree (following Prof Peter Stansby's design). The sizes of the three floats increase from bow to stern, causing the line absorber to align with the wave direction. This system was optimised through experiments varying float spacing, diameter, draft and the hinge point above the mid float about which relative angular motion occurs. These experiments were undertaken at small scale in the wide Manchester University flume at about 1/40th scale. Regular and random (JONSWAP) waves were investigated including directionality and different spectral peakedness factor. Corresponding experiments were undertaken at five time larger scale (about 1/8th) in the wave basin at the COAST laboratory of Plymouth University. These tests were for a flat-based floats; the mechanical damping coefficient for larger scale was within the range for the smaller scale tests after appropriate (Froude) scaling. Tests at Manchester showed that the more rounded base floats (the mid float being hemi spherical) provided improved power capture. Device effectiveness is defined in terms of capture width ratio; that is the average power divided by the wave power per metre divided by the wavelength, defined by the energy period in the case of irregular waves. The experiments showed that capture width ratios were greater than 25% in regular waves and greater than 20% in irregular waves across a broad range of wave periods. With rounded base floats capture width ratios over 20% were achieved for a broad range of wave frequencies up to a maximum greater than 35%. Limited experiments at larger scale showed that increasing the damping coefficient could increase power capture by about 50%. Characterisation by capture width ratio is convenient for determining annual energy yield from scatter diagrams. This was undertaken for six sites of interest for wave energy conversion. It was assumed that the greatest power to weight ratio determines the most economic device; it was found that large devices could produce very large average power, for example average power of 2 MW, but the optimum power/weight ratio occurred at smaller scale, with average power typically 0.3 MW.