Among the significant difficulties of developing commercially viable wave power has been survivability in storm conditions and achieving high capacity factors. The oscillating wave motion, constantly changing wave-size, and extreme energy levels during storm conditions often lead to difficulties in reaching high capacity factors, keeping the system complexity down and avoiding over dimensioning.
The Ocean Harvester is based on an innovation addressing these issues. What is unique with this concept is the way a counterweight is used to achieve a limited load on the generator and thereby a levelled power output that can be controlled to match the average level of incoming wave energy. These characteristics enable an exceptionally high capacity factor, excellent survivability and low system complexity, which altogether may lead to low capital- and O&M costs.
This paper presents the working principle of the novel concept and introductory coordinated theoretical and experimental investigations of performance characteristics. Theoretical and experimental results agree very well and further simulations with the verified model using real wave data clearly show the advantage of the proposed concept. A high capacity factor is proven and the design obviously only requires existing types of components, making cost-efficient wave energy conversion feasible.