Earlier this year, Sandia National Laboratories Water Power Technologies researchers successfully tested the Floating Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Device (FOSWEC). Testing took place at Oregon State University’s (OSU) Directional Wave Basin.
Sandia had previously developed control design and testing methods for wave energy converters (WECs) based on experiments with a different device (the WaveBot). The goal for testing the FOSWEC was to confirm whether or not these same methods would work well for the FOSWEC, and therefore be widely applicable to the wide range of WEC designs currently being considered.
The FOSWEC was previously tested as part of an effort to validate the open-source modeling code WEC-Sim, and results from the FOSWEC tests confirmed that the control design and testing methods in question could perform well on this very different device.
In addition to the research component of the testing effort, a workshop was held at OSU using the FOSWEC to demonstrate the course content. The workshop, which was attended by graduate students, researchers, and industry developers, took place over two days and included both classroom and hands-on components.
“About 30 workshop attendees learned about the experimental device called the FOSWEC,” said Water PI Ryan Coe. “It was a worthwhile effort with both experimental components and classroom components. The students were in wave tank getting to see how the experiment was run, how the results looked, and also learning how to interpret the results and connect that with a theoretical basis from classroom components.”
“We have what we believe to be a simple, effective, and practical set of tools along a workflow for WEC design and testing. We’re trying to share this information with as many people as possible,” said Coe. “Demonstrating this approach on the hardware provides people with that additional excitement and intuition that comes with seeing something in real life.”
Sandia scientists including Coe, Giorgio Bacelli and Dominick Forbush had planned to host another workshop in conjunction with ICOE2020, but have delayed the workshop until spring of 2021 due the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FOSWEC is currently on loan to Oregon State University, where it will continue to help students and researchers complete cutting-edge research.