A method for energy and resource assessment of waves in finite water depths

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Sheng, Wanan
Li, Hui
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This paper presents a new method for improving the assessment of energy and resources of waves in the cases of finite water depths in which the historical and some ongoing sea wave measurements are simply given in forms of scatter diagrams or the forms of (significant) wave heights and the relevant statistical wave periods, whilst the detailed spectrum information has been discarded, thus no longer available for the purpose of analysis. As a result of such simplified wave data, the assessment for embracing the effects of water depths on wave energy and resources becomes either difficult or inaccurate. In many practical cases, the effects of water depths are simply ignored because the formulas for deep-water waves are frequently employed. This simplification may cause large energy under-estimations for the sea waves in finite water depths. To improve the wave energy assessment for such much-simplified wave data, an approximate method is proposed for approximating the effect of water depth in this research, for which the wave energy period or the calculated peak period can be taken as the reference period for implementing the approximation. The examples for both theoretical and measured spectra show that the proposed method can significantly reduce the errors on wave energy assessment due to the approximations and inclusions of the effects of finite water depths.
Wave energy , Wave energy assessment , Finite water depth , Energy assessment method , Wave energy resources
Sheng, W. and Li, H. (2017) 'A method for energy and resource assessment of waves in finite water depths', Energies, 10(4), 460 (17 pp). doi:10.3390/en10040460