Similar to the mechanism by which a visco-elastic mud damps the energy of overpassing surface waves, if the near-shore seafloor is carpeted by an elastic thin material attached to generators (i.e. dampers) a high fraction of surface wave energy can be absorbed. Here we present analytical modeling of the flexible carpet wave energy converter and show that a high efficiency is achievable. Expressions for optimal damping and stiffness coefficients are derived and different modes of oscillations are discussed. The presented wave energy conversion scheme is completely under the water surface hence imposes minimal danger to boats and the sea life (i.e. no mammal entanglement). The carpet is survivable against high momentum of storm surges and in fact can perform well under very energetic (e.g. stormy) sea conditions, when most existing wave energy devices are needed to shelter themselves by going into an idle mode.
I am honored to be a colleague of Prof. Ronald Yeung at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a world renowned scientist of ship hydrodynamics with several valuable and key contributions to the field. This manuscript on a new ocean wave energy extraction scheme is due to Ron’s recent interest in the field of ocean renewable energy. I am looking forward to years of working closely with him. Thank you Ron.