Design of Overtopping Wave Energy Convertors for Small Waves

ASME 2010 29th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering. 29th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering: Volume 2
Shanghai, China, June 6–11, 2010
John T. Imamura and Alaa Mansour


This paper proposes a design concept in the area of overtopping ocean wave energy devices. Current models of overtopping devices are limited to locations which experience large wave activity. The high energy associated with large waves enables the ocean water waves to overtop the device ramp into the collection reservoir which discharges through a power generating turbine. The ramp height is necessarily large to establish a sufficient collection reservoir head. The proposed design concept can utilize small waves by implementing a gearing system which can transfer water to the collection reservoir. This allows for greater access to the wave energy resource at more locations than currently possible. A simplified model of this design concept is presented and applied to varying wave conditions off the coast of California.