A small-scale field experiment is conducted on a U-Oscillating Water Column (U-OWC) incorporated into a model of caisson breakwater at the Natural Ocean Engineering Laboratory (NOEL) laboratory of Reggio Calabria (Italy). The U-OWC or REWEC (REsonant Wave Energy Converter) is a device belonging to the family of Oscillating Water Columns (OWCs), characterized by the introduction of a U-duct. Such a device is innovative, absorbing a high percentage of incoming sea energy and, then, to produce electricity via a Power-Take-Off (PTO). The aim of the present study is the investigation of the wave pressures and forces acting on the U-OWC monolithic coastal defense structure. Moreover, the structural response of the U-OWC structure is also investigated under the occurrence of wave crests, by calculating the hydrodynamic forces realized in the active parts of the U-OWC. It is shown as a global additional force is realized, which contributes to increase the overall stability of the structure. Considering the wave loads acting on the U-OWC caisson, the post-process of the overall dataset recorded during the real field experiment at NOEL laboratory reveals the occurrence of both quasi-static loading (non-breaking), and of impact loading (impulsive) due to wave breaking. Thus, a systematic analysis is pursued in order to identify the loading cases acting on the U-OWC breakwater. When high non-breaking sea waves interact with the breakwater, “Quasi-Standing (QS)” wave pressures and forces occur at modified structure with two peaks of equal intensity. Instead, the impact of extreme breaking waves against the U-OWC structure generates asym- metrical wave pressure records beneath the wave crests, with two peaks with different intensity: the first one greater than the second one. In these cases, “Slightly Breaking (SB)” wave forces and “Impact Loads (IL)” are identified. Wave pressure distributions and forces acting on the U-OWC model are, then, investigated for the three classes of wave loads. Moreover, the probability of occurrence of maximum positive peak forces is determined from the experimental dataset, given a number of parameters. In particular, when QSWs occur, the maxima peak forces are recorded for deeper water depths dn , d’ and a, at given significant wave height HSi . Instead, for SBWs and ILs, the extreme wave loads are realized, when the most severe sea states occur with higher HSi , and for decreasing water depth dn . d’ and a. Then, the influence both of the length of the berm and of the width of the U-duct in the front structure is considered. When the dimensions of both structural elements is reduced, the maxima wave forces occur in a fixed recorded sea state. Then, the Quasi-Determinism (QD) nonlinear model at the U-OWC breakwater is introduced for evaluation of Quasi-Standing wave loads, showing a good agreement among analytical and experimental results. Finally, the Goda’s model is applied to calculate the wave pressure distributions acting on the external walls of the U-OWC model. The theoretical results given by the Goda’s formulae are compared with experimental data, overestimating experimental results for both QSWs and SBWs and, significantly, underestimating IL conditions.

### Small-scale field experiment on wave forces on a U-OWC breakwater

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*Romolo, Alessandra*^{};Laface, Valentina;Fiamma, Vincenzo;Arena, Felice

^{};Laface, Valentina;Fiamma, Vincenzo;Arena, Felice

##### 2024-01-01

#### Abstract

A small-scale field experiment is conducted on a U-Oscillating Water Column (U-OWC) incorporated into a model of caisson breakwater at the Natural Ocean Engineering Laboratory (NOEL) laboratory of Reggio Calabria (Italy). The U-OWC or REWEC (REsonant Wave Energy Converter) is a device belonging to the family of Oscillating Water Columns (OWCs), characterized by the introduction of a U-duct. Such a device is innovative, absorbing a high percentage of incoming sea energy and, then, to produce electricity via a Power-Take-Off (PTO). The aim of the present study is the investigation of the wave pressures and forces acting on the U-OWC monolithic coastal defense structure. Moreover, the structural response of the U-OWC structure is also investigated under the occurrence of wave crests, by calculating the hydrodynamic forces realized in the active parts of the U-OWC. It is shown as a global additional force is realized, which contributes to increase the overall stability of the structure. Considering the wave loads acting on the U-OWC caisson, the post-process of the overall dataset recorded during the real field experiment at NOEL laboratory reveals the occurrence of both quasi-static loading (non-breaking), and of impact loading (impulsive) due to wave breaking. Thus, a systematic analysis is pursued in order to identify the loading cases acting on the U-OWC breakwater. When high non-breaking sea waves interact with the breakwater, “Quasi-Standing (QS)” wave pressures and forces occur at modified structure with two peaks of equal intensity. Instead, the impact of extreme breaking waves against the U-OWC structure generates asym- metrical wave pressure records beneath the wave crests, with two peaks with different intensity: the first one greater than the second one. In these cases, “Slightly Breaking (SB)” wave forces and “Impact Loads (IL)” are identified. Wave pressure distributions and forces acting on the U-OWC model are, then, investigated for the three classes of wave loads. Moreover, the probability of occurrence of maximum positive peak forces is determined from the experimental dataset, given a number of parameters. In particular, when QSWs occur, the maxima peak forces are recorded for deeper water depths dn , d’ and a, at given significant wave height HSi . Instead, for SBWs and ILs, the extreme wave loads are realized, when the most severe sea states occur with higher HSi , and for decreasing water depth dn . d’ and a. Then, the influence both of the length of the berm and of the width of the U-duct in the front structure is considered. When the dimensions of both structural elements is reduced, the maxima wave forces occur in a fixed recorded sea state. Then, the Quasi-Determinism (QD) nonlinear model at the U-OWC breakwater is introduced for evaluation of Quasi-Standing wave loads, showing a good agreement among analytical and experimental results. Finally, the Goda’s model is applied to calculate the wave pressure distributions acting on the external walls of the U-OWC model. The theoretical results given by the Goda’s formulae are compared with experimental data, overestimating experimental results for both QSWs and SBWs and, significantly, underestimating IL conditions.I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.