Development of a simplified analytical model for a passive inertial system solicited by wave motion

G. Rinaldi, A. Fontanella, G. Sannino, G. Bracco, E. Giorcelli, G. Mattiazzo, H. Bludszuweit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a theoretical and experimental investigation about the modelling of a 1:45 scale prototype Wave Energy Converter (WEC). An analytical model is implemented to describe its behaviour in a wave tank. The aim is to provide a contribution to modelling tools used for WEC characterisation and design. Hydrodynamic characterisation software is avoided in favour of a simpler and more versatile design tool destined to a wider range of users. Therefore, an alternative approach is presented, based on mechanical analogies and the use of Matlab/Simulink/SimMechanics environment. This analytical model was constructed using linear wave theory, coupled with a non-linear model for the device and its power take-off system (PTO). Assumptions on incident waves and geometric properties of the device were required and implemented on the basis of literature of naval architecture, ships stabilization and control issues. Simulation results were compared and validated with those obtained in the same range of experimental tests of the prototype in wave tank. Trends and values of both investigation techniques show a good agreement, indicating the validity of the methodology adopted and leaving space for future improvements of the same. Finally, as example of application, the model was applied in a show case in order to estimate the energy yield by the WEC if scaled to real size, using Froude scaling. Results are encouraging and show the viability of the proposed design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45 - 61
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Marine Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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