Date of Award

4-2013

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering

Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Parviz Merati

Second Advisor

Dr. William W. Liou

Third Advisor

Dr. Javier M. Montefort

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

With the push for finding alternative, green energy sources, the harnessing of energy from ocean and lake waves is becoming a more researched field. To fully understand the behavior of wave interactions and optimize designs to extract this energy, it is necessary to develop computer models that can accurately replicate this behavior. A case is presented in which previous work done using the wave tank found in the Western Michigan University fluids lab is examined. The case involves harnessing the energy generated by ocean waves through the usage of plates of different shapes resting horizontally on the water’s surface. The setup and results of the testing are discussed in detail and then the recreated in two dimensions using commercial Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) software. The results of the CFD model generated are examined and compared to the experimental data. Efficiency calculations show that while there is potential in the design idea, there may be better means of obtaining this energy. From this a second case is presented in which a three dimensional CFD model is developed demonstrating the behavior of waves impacting a vertical surface, much like a sea wall. The development and results of this model are discussed in detail, and a unique wave phenomenon is identified whereby a corner in the sea wall induces three dimensionality to the system by causing waves to travel parallel to the sea wall.

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