Top-hinged wave energy converters (WECs) offer several important advantages from an offshore engineering perspective; they are relatively simple, they can be lifted out of the ocean to avoid storm damage, and the power take-off (PTO) device is located above the ocean surface, removing difficulties arising from sealing this equipment. However, to become economically viable, power extraction must be increased, and costs must be decreased.
This research will investigate the feasibility of exploiting recent breakthroughs in geometry and parameter optimisation applied to point-absorber WECs for the optimisation of top-hinged WECs. The team will adapt a previously developed optimisation framework to suit top-hinged WEC designs, yielding an optimised top-hinged WEC which will subsequently undergo laboratory tests. In parallel, they will use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) on the optimised shape to further examine hydrodynamic behaviour.