The effect of sub-optimal control and the spectral wave climate on the performance of wave energy converter arrays

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    A linear hydrodynamic model is used to assess the sensitivity of the performance of a wave energy converter (WEC) array to control parameters. It is found that WEC arrays have a much smaller tolerance to imprecision of the control parameters than isolated WECs and that the increase in power capture of WEC arrays is only achieved with larger amplitudes of motion of the individual WECs. The WEC array radiation pattern is found to provide useful insight into the array hydrodynamics. The linear hydrodynamic model is used, together with the wave climate at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), to assess the maximum annual average power capture of a WEC array. It is found that the maximum annual average power capture is significantly reduced compared to the maximum power capture for regular waves and that the optimum array configuration is also significantly modified. It is concluded that the optimum configuration of a WEC array will be as much influenced by factors such as mooring layout, device access and power smoothing as it is by the theoretical optimum hydrodynamic configuration.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)260-266
    Number of pages7
    JournalApplied Ocean Research
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2009


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