This paper presents, assesses, and optimizes a point absorber wave energy converter (WEC) through numerical modeling, simulation, and analysis in time domain. Wave energy conversion is a technology especially suited for assisting in power generation in the offshore oil and gas platforms. A linear frequency domain model is created to predict the behavior of the heaving point absorber WEC system. The hydrodynamic parameters are obtained with AQWA, a software package based on boundary element methods. A linear external damping coefficient is applied to enable power absorption and an external spring force is introduced to tune the point absorber to the incoming wave conditions. The external damping coefficient and external spring forces are the control parameters, which need to be optimized to maximize the power absorption. Two buoy shapes are tested and a variety of diameters and drafts are compared. Optimal shape, draft, and diameter of the model are then determined to maximize its power absorption capacity. Based on the results generated from the frequency domain analysis, a time domain analysis was also conducted to derive the responses of the WEC in the hydrodynamic time response domain. The time domain analysis results allowed us to estimate the power output of this WEC system.

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