An investigation of small-scale wave energy converters for marine sensors

Courtis, Peter (2020) An investigation of small-scale wave energy converters for marine sensors. [USQ Project]

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The existence of ocean renewable energy (ORE) is well documented, with Australia’s wave energy resource being assessed as arguably the largest in the world (McInnes et al. 2018). Wave energy conversion devices (WECs) are recognised as an effective method for harvesting ORE, this dissertation examines the small-scale application of WEC principals, an area of the technology that has not been thoroughly researched.

This project builds on work carried out at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), investigating and proposing a design for small-scale ORE devices in order to power marine sensors. It achieves this outcome thorough a review of WEC technologies and wave data, application of modelling methods for power analysis as well as the design, partial fabrication and testing of the proposed prototype.

The literature review serves to inform of the status of development related to WEC devices. It identifies the challenges particular to ORE devices, examining the adverse environments and conditions of their deployment, also providing details on the justification of WEC validity. The review found that the current technology focus is on large-scale, potentially grid-based devices, with the sub 1 Watt demands of marine sensors well below this scope.

The modelling carried out focusses on a WEC design featuring a fully enclosed vertical axis pendulum concept. Based on the pendulum mass and distance to its centre of gravity, a power matrix was generated for any given sea state combination of significant wave height and period. Selection of components was carried out to satisfy the many design criteria of the project including satisfying power requirements and consideration of dimensional restrictions, remaining maintenance free and robust, as well as incorporating provision for testing and data capture.

While many components of the design were able to be tested, issues arose in the final fabrication and testing of the prototype, limiting the scope of the data available for real world analysis. Where possible, finite element analysis (FEA) using computer aided design (CAD) has been carried out to supplement the modelling and testing to justify the design. These analysis as well as recommendations for more rigorous testing are included as important considerations for future development.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Goh, Steven
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical)
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2021 02:17
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2023 03:59

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