Wave Fields around Wave Energy Converter Arrays

Louise O'Boyle

    Research output: Other contribution

    Abstract

    Wave energy converters, by their nature, extract large amounts of energy
    from incident waves. If the industry is to progress such that wave energy
    becomes a significant provider of power in the future, large wave farms will
    be required. Presently, consenting for these sites is a long and problematic
    process, mainly due to a lack of knowledge of the potential environmental
    impacts. Accurate numerical modelling of the effect of wave energy extraction
    on the wave field and subsequent evaluation of changes to coastal
    processes is therefore required. Modelling the wave field impact is also
    necessary to allow optimum wave farm configurations to be determined.
    This thesis addresses the need for more accurate representation of wave
    energy converters in numerical models so that the effect on the wave field,
    and subsequently the coastal processes, may be evaluated. Using a hybrid
    of physical and numerical modelling (MIKE21 BW and SW models) the
    effect of energy extraction and operation of a WEC array on the local wave
    climate has been determined.
    The main outcomes of the thesis are: an improved wave basin facility, in
    terms of wave climate homogeneity, reducing the standard deviation of wave
    amplitude by up to 50%; experimental measurement of the wave field around
    WEC arrays, showing that radiated waves account for a significant proportion
    of the wave disturbance; a new representation method of WECs for use
    with standard numerical modelling tools, validated against experimental
    results.
    The methodology and procedures developed here allow subsequent evaluation
    of changes to coastal processes and sediment transport due to WEC
    arrays.
    Original languageEnglish
    TypePhD thesis
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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