The maximal power that is absorbed by a wave energy converter can be estimated from the far-field behavior of the waves that are radiated by the device. For realistic estimates, constraints must be used to enforce restrictions on the set of admissible motions when deriving the maximal absorption width. This work is dedicated to the numerical computation of the maximal absorption width under constraints for devices with several non-trivial degrees of freedom. In particular, the method is applied to a model of SBM Offshore’s S3 wave energy converter, a bulging horizontal cylinder. The results are compared with a more classical approach, which consists of computing the linear dynamic response of the wave energy converter interacting with the waves. The far-field maximal absorption width can be seen as an upper bound to evaluate what would be the power captured by a perfect control strategy. The method also shows that the absorption width of the S3 wave energy converter is larger for wavelengths that are smaller than the device length. In practice, this means that S3 wave energy converters will be longer than the maximal wavelength to be captured on the targeted production site.
This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Modelling of Wave Energy Converters.