It is expected that large farms of wave energy converters (WECs) will be installed and as part of the consenting process it will be necessary to quantify their impact on the local environment. The objective of this study is to assess the impact a WEC farm has on the incoming wave field through the use of a novel methodology. This methodology assesses the changes of the significant wave height surrounding a flap-type WEC farm with a special focus on the lee of the farm. A time-dependent mild-slope equation model is employed to solve the propagation of surface waves and their interaction with the devices. The model represents the devices as obstacle cells with attributed absorption coefficients tuned against near-fields obtained from a boundary element method (BEM) solver. The wake effect of the farm is determined by using a step-by-step approach starting first with an assessment of one device and progressively incrementing to a larger number of flaps. The effect of incident sea states, device separations and water depth changes on the wake effect of the farm is also investigated. This work shows the potential of a WEC farm to reduce significant wave heights on the leeside.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment