An investigation of the hydrodynamic characteristics of an oscillating water column device using a level set immersed boundary model

Yali Zhang*, Qingping Zou, Deborah Greaves, Dominic E. Reeve, Alison Hunt-Raby, David Graham, Phil James

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)


In traditional renewable energy device design, physical experiments and potential flow solvers are commonly used to investigate hydrodynamic characteristics of wave energy converters. However, most potential flow models cannot deal with extreme free surface problems including wave breaking or splashing over the structure and scaling issues for physical experiments are very complex. Furthermore, for an oscillating water column device (OWC), the combined air and water motions influence the physical response of the device and cannot be properly represented without simulating both the air and water phases. Therefore a numerical method based on a two-phase level set with the global mass correction (Zhang et al., 2009) and immersed boundary method (Zhang et al., 2010) is developed to simulate wave interaction with a semi-submerged chamber. This method is initially employed to generate the 2D regular incident wave and compared with the theory. A shore-based oscillating water column, where power is extracted due to a normally incident wave forcing the free surface of the fluid between the front wall and rear wall to oscillate, is studied numerically to examine its hydrodynamic characteristics. The numerical results for an OWC under various wave periods are compared and validated with published experimental data (Liu, 2008). The effect on the efficiency of wave energy extraction from the OWC of wave period, immersion depth of the front wall and width of the chamber are investigated. Then, focused wave group is used to generate an extreme wave event. Focused wave results are compared with physical, experiments and numerical results. A test case involving an OWC under an extreme wave condition is also presented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Twentieth International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference
PublisherInternational Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781880653777
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event20th International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference - Beijing, China
Duration: 20 Jun 201025 Jun 2010


Conference20th International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference
Abbreviated titleISOPE 2010


  • Focused wave groups
  • Hydrodynamic efficiency
  • Immersed boundary method
  • Level set with global mass
  • Oscillating water column
  • Regular wave
  • Wave energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'An investigation of the hydrodynamic characteristics of an oscillating water column device using a level set immersed boundary model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this