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Oscillating water column (OWC) wave energy converters are adopted in many marine applications such as buoys. This research investigates how inclination-induced changes in motion affect the oscillation characteristics of an OWC. As the collector of the OWC wave energy converter is inclined, the direction of motion of the water column is also inclined because it is constrained by collector walls. To investigate this idea, we developed a mechanical 1-degree-of-freedom oscillator model of an inclined OWC. The usefulness of the mechanical model was confirmed in a water tank test with OWCs inclined at 90 degrees (vertical), 45 degrees, and 18.4 degrees. We then investigated the effect of inclination on the resonance period and the optimum power take-off damping of the OWC. The resonance period was mainly prolonged by the reduced restoring force as the motion direction changed. The optimum power take-off damping of an inclined OWC equaled the radiation damping, as observed in vertical OWCs. Finally, we varied the air chamber volume and observed much smaller effects than when varying the inclination. We conclude that changing the direction of motion affects the oscillation characteristics of OWCs mostly because of the reduction of gravity restoring force. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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