Floating wave energy converters: wave measurement & analysis techniques

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Barrett, Seán Noel
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University College Cork
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The wave energy industry is entering a new phase of pre-commercial and commercial deployments of full-scale devices, so better understanding of seaway variability is critical to the successful operation of devices. The response of Wave Energy Converters to incident waves govern their operational performance and for many devices, this is highly dependent on spectral shape due to their resonant properties. Various methods of wave measurement are presented, along with analysis techniques and empirical models. Resource assessments, device performance predictions and monitoring of operational devices will often be based on summary statistics and assume a standard spectral shape such as Pierson-Moskowitz or JONSWAP. Furthermore, these are typically derived from the closest available wave data, frequently separated from the site on scales in the order of 1km. Therefore, variability of seaways from standard spectral shapes and spatial inconsistency between the measurement point and the device site will cause inaccuracies in the performance assessment. This thesis categorises time and frequency domain analysis techniques that can be used to identify changes in a sea state from record to record. Device specific issues such as dimensional scaling of sea states and power output are discussed along with potential differences that arise in estimated and actual output power of a WEC due to spectral shape variation. This is investigated using measured data from various phases of device development.
Ocean energy , Wave energy converter , Wave measurement , Time domain analysis , Frequency domain analysis
Barrett, S .N, 2015. Floating wave energy converters: wave measurement & analysis techniques. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.