RM6: Oscillating Water Column


The Reference Model Project (RMP), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), was a partnered effort to develop open-source MHK point designs as reference models (RMs) to benchmark MHK technology performance and costs, and an open-source methodology for design and analysis of MHK technologies, including models for estimating their capital costs, operational costs, and levelized costs of energy. The point designs also served as open-source test articles for university researchers and commercial technology developers. The RMP project team, led by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), included a partnership between DOE, three national laboratories, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the Applied Research Laboratory of Penn State University, and Re Vision Consulting.

Reference Model 6 (RM6) is a Backward Bent Duct Buoy (BBDB), which is a type of oscillating water column wave energy converter. First proposed by Masuda, the BBDB design is a floating Oscillating Water Column (OWC) device that consists of an air chamber, an L-shaped duct, bow and stern buoyancy modules, and a power take-off (PTO) composed of a Wells air turbine and a generator. This L- shaped device opens to the ocean downstream from the wave propagation direction. Power is produced by the motion of the wave, which causes the ambient pressure in the air chamber to vary thereby forcing air to flow through the Wells turbine. The reference wave energy resource for RM6 was developed from site information collected near Eureka, in Humboldt County, California.

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Additional Info

DOE Project Name: Reference Model Project
DOE Project Number: FY13 AOP
DOE Project Lead: Jeff Rieks
Last Updated: 3 months ago
Data from September, 2014
Submission in progress


Sandia National Laboratories


In progress License 


Vince Neary
Sandia National Laboratories


MHK, Marine, Hydrokinetic, energy, power, refence model, wave energy, owc, RM6


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