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Design and testing of a low-cost, self-contained wave energy converter device

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2 Author(s)
Tho Nguyen ; Department of Electrical Engineering, Tan Tao University, Duc Hoa, Long An - Vietnam ; Vong Bui

This paper introduces the design and testing of a scalable, low-cost, self-contained WEC device that can be easily deployed in remote, undeveloped locations around the world. This novel design relies on a two-way mechanical rectifier and flywheel system to convert opposing angular into single-directional turning of the dynamo. In effect, this device is able to harness energy from virtually all wave-induced motion. The design can be implemented as a shoreline, nearshore, or offshore device with minimal modification and without need for permanent supporting structure. Another unique characteristic of the design is that all components are fully contained inside the device itself. This feature significantly increases robustness of the device and virtually eliminates the need for regular maintenance. The device's construction leverage off-the-shelf components that are widely available in order to minimize cost. A prototype is tested at a fishing community with a relatively inconsistent and low level of wave activities. Experimental results demonstrate that a relatively small prototype operating in calm wave conditions can provide basic lighting and emergency power where electricity is not yet available.

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Date of Conference:

19-22 Sept. 2011