Designing Short-Term Wave Traces to Assess Wave Power Devices

Pal Schmitt, Lucas Danisch, Paul Lamont-Kane, Björn Elsaesser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
325 Downloads (Pure)


It is generally accepted that an estimate of mean power capture for a wave energy converter in a given sea state can only be obtained over many hundreds
(or thousands) of wave cycles. The difficulty stems from the fact, that wave energy converters typically exhibit significant non-linearities in their response.
A reduction in the number of wave cycles needed to obtain accurate results would allow to use numerical tools for design optimisation tasks which are
currently too computationally demanding. In this paper, experimental time traces are analysed to provide reasonable estimates of relative variations
in device performance using short duration sea states. We examine the suitability of various metrics of surface elevation time traces by comparing
corresponding WEC data of interest. The results show that carefully selected wave traces can be used to reliably assess variations in power output due to
changes in the hydrodynamic design or wave climate. It is also demonstrated how confidence levels increase with runtime, so in the future simulations
could be run until sufficient accuracy is achieved to choose the best design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-53
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Offshore and Polar Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2018


  • Sea State; Wave trace; Experimental tank testing; parameters; non-linear effects; statistics


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