Numerical investigation of the aerodynamic performance for a wells-type turbine in a wave energy converter
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Ocean waves constitute an extensive energy resource, whose extraction has been the subject of intense research activity in the last three decades. Among the different variants of Wave Energy Converters, the principle of the Oscillating Water Column (OWC) is one of the most promising ones. An OWC comprises two key elements: A collector chamber, which transfers the wave oscillations' energy to the air within the chamber by back and forth displacement, and a power take off system, which converts the pneumatic power into electricity or some other usable form. The Wells turbine is a self-rectifying air turbine, a suitable solution for energy extraction from reciprocating air flow in an OWC. In the present work, the steady state, inviscid flow in the Wells turbine is investigated by numerical simulations. The relatively novel Virtual Multiple Reference Frame (VMRF) technique is used to account for the rotary motion of the turbine, and the overall performance is compared with results in the literature.