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Floating OWCs

The early OWCs developed in Japan before 1980 by Yoshio Masuda were floating devices.

Author: António F. de O. Falcão IDMEC, Instituto Superior Técnico, Technical University of Lisbon.

Interest in the floating OWC has not died out. The so-called Mighty Whale, built in Japan in the 1998, and tested in the sea for several years, is in fact a floating version of the OWC (50m-long, 30m-wide structure), equipped with three Wells turbines, each driving a 30kW electrical generator.

The Backward Bent Duct Buoy (BBDB), originally a Japanese concept, has been object of more recent interest in Europe, under the name OE buoy: a 15m-long 1/4-scale pilot plant, equipped with a Wells turbine, has been built in Ireland and is being tested since November 2006 in the sheltered waters of Galway Bay (western Ireland).

The Sperboy is a floating OWC being developed in UK that uses several vertical columns of different lengths to more effectively capture energy from a range of wavelengths. A 1/5th scale pilot unit has been deployed at sea in southern England.

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