Analysis of the SEA-OWC-Clam wave energy device – Part A: Historical development, hydrodynamic and motion response formulations & solutions


For the first time a complete historical development of the Clam wave energy device.

New unpublished theoretical analysis of a device exhibiting 78-222 DOF.

Generalisation of hydrodynamic reactive coefficients and related motion responses.

Analytic solutions and presentation of motion responses.

Ad-hoc semi-analytic analysis of water ballast requirement to ensure device floats.


The SEA-Clam wave energy device has undergone the metamorphic changes presented in the historical development. Each variation leads to more complex hydrodynamic and motion responses. The most recent novel Oscillating Water Column (OWC) form of the device has multiple internal free surfaces, the motions of which are required to predict power take-off once a device specification with structural integrity has been identified. Motion equations for structure and the large number of degrees-of-freedom of the free surfaces modelled as massless plates are derived and presented in a very compact form. This paper also proffers two simpler models consistent with standard offshore engineering calculations. These are investigated within since structural integrity of device requires further refinement; as demonstrated in the companion paper. Quality checks of the hydrodynamic analyses are explained and applied to justify the numerical investigations undertaken. Sea spectra for the possible operational site of South Uist are used to generate motion transfer functions for associated wave frequency range. The peak pitch response of this large annular shaped structure is a main concern regarding survivability. The analyses undertaken reflect conceptual rather than detailed design status of the device.


  • Multiple degrees-of-freedom;
  • Free-surface influences;
  • Hydrodynamic quality checks;
  • Negative added mass;
  • Fredholm integral equations;
  • Boundary elements

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