RM5: Oscillating Surge Flap


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 5 (RM5) is a type of floating, oscillating surge wave energy converter (OSWEC) that utilizes the surge motion of waves to generate electrical power. The reference wave energy resource for RM5 was measurement data from a National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) buoy near Eureka, in Humboldt County, California. The flap was designed to rotate against the supporting frame to convert wave energy into electrical power from the relative rotational motion induced by incoming waves. The RM5 design is rated at 360 kilowatts (kW), uses a flap of 25 m in width and 19 m in height (16 m in draft), and the distance from the top of the water surface piercing flap to the mean water surface (freeboard) is 1.5 m. The flap is connected to a shaft with a 3-m diameter that rotates against the supporting frame. The supporting frame is assumed to have an outer diameter of 2 m, and the total length of the device structure is 45 m. The RM5 OSWEC was designed for deep-water deployment, at depths between 50 m and 100 m, and was tension-moored to the seabed.

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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 January, 1970
Submission in progress


Sandia National Laboratories


In progress License 


Vince Neary
Sandia National Laboratories


MHK, Marine, Hydrokinetic, energy, power, wave energy, reference model, RM5, oswec


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