Wave energy converters (WECs) extract energy from ocean waves and have the potential to produce a significant amount of electricity from a renewable resource. However, large "WEC farms" or "WEC arrays" (composed of a large number of individual WECs) are expected to exhibit "WEC array effects". These effects represent the impact of the WECs on the wave climate at an installation site, as well as on the overall power absorption of the WEC array. Tests have been performed in the Shallow Water Wave Basin of DHI (Denmark) to study such "WEC array effects". Large arrays of up to 25 heaving point absorber type WECs have been tested for a range of geometric layout configurations and wave conditions. Each WEC consists of a buoy with a diameter of 0.315 m. Power take-off was modeled by realizing friction based energy dissipation through damping of the WECs' motion. The produced database is presented: WEC response, wave induced forces on the WECs, and wave field modifications have been measured. A first understanding of WEC array effects is obtained. This unique experimental set-up of up to 25 individual WEC units in an array layout, placed in a large wave tank, is at present the largest set-up of its kind studying the important WEC array effects. The data obtained from these experimental tests will be very useful for validation and extension of numerical models. This model validation will enable optimization of the geometrical layout of WEC arrays for realistic wave farm applications and reduction of the cost of energy from wave energy systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment