The ‘Anaconda’ takes a radical new approach to converting wave energy, comprising of a large flexible tube that sits just below the water surface. When a wave passes, the varying external pressures cause the tube to respond such that an internal “bulge-wave” propagates along the length of the tube. The bulge-wave response of the tube is characterised by the elastic properties of the flexible tube and can be designed to respond in phase with external waves. Under such circumstances, the tube responds so as to extract energy from the external waves and to grow the internal bulge-wave, which propagates to the stern of the tube. A closed loop power take off (PTO) at the stern of the tube then temporarily stores the cyclical hydraulic energy and converts it to smoother electrical power by flowing through a turbine between a high and a low pressure accumulator.
The Anaconda embodies a complex hydro-elastic problem directly coupling performance and survivability, the bulge tube’s distensibility being the key governing parameter. Understanding its influence on performance and survivability is a key target outcome
The project will use laboratory measurements and computational analysis to give confidence in the technical and economic feasibility of this novel system for generating electricity at utility scale, paving the way for further development towards implementing a prototype system.