The hydrodynamic performance of a fixed Oscillating Water Column (OWC) device is experimentally and numerically investigated. Based on the time-domain higher-order boundary element method (HOBEM), by introducing an artificial viscosity term in the dynamic free surface boundary condition, a fully nonlinear numerical wave model is used to simulate the hydrodynamic performance of an OWC device. A set of comprehensive experiments for regular waves is carried out to validate the numerical results as well as to investigate the nonlinear effects on the hydrodynamic performance of OWC. The mechanism of the nonlinear phenomenon is investigated based on the analysis of the experimental and numerical results. The influence of the wave nonlinearity and the viscosity on the hydrodynamic efficiency is quantified by comparing the linear and nonlinear numerical results. It was found that the hydrodynamic efficiency increases with the nonlinearity and viscosity when the incident wave amplitude is small. When the incident wave amplitude is large, the hydrodynamic efficiency is reduced by the weakened transmission of the second-order harmonic wave component due to the strong wave nonlinearity. However, when the wave amplitude is between these two regimes, the wave is weakly nonlinear, the efficiency decreases with the wave amplitude due to the combined effect of the nonlinearity and viscosity.