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

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Sheng, Wanan
Li, Hui
Murphy, Jimmy
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For cost savings and ease of operation, nearshore regions have been considered as ideal regions for deploying wave energy converters (WECs) and wave farms. As the water depths of these regions may be frequently limited to 50 m or less, they can be considered as being transitional/intermediate to shallow when compared to the wave lengths of interest for wave energy conversion. Since the impact of water depths on propagation of waves is significant, it cannot be ignored in wave energy assessment. According to the basic wave theory, in order to work out accurate wave energy amounts in finite water depth, detailed wave spectral distributions should be given. However, for some practical reasons, there are still some cases where only scatter diagrams and/or the statistical wave parameters are available, whilst the detailed wave spectra are discarded. As a result, the assessments of wave energy and resources are frequently determined by ignoring the effect of water depths or using very simplified approximations. This research paper aims to develop more accurate approximation methods by utilising a number of available parameters such that a better estimate on the wave resource assessment can be achieved even if the detailed wave spectra are not available. As one important goal, the research can provide some important indications on how the measured wave data are effectively presented so that they can be very useful for assessing the wave energy resource, especially in the cases including the effects of finite water depths.
Wave energy , Wave energy resource , Finite water depth , Statistical wave period , Approximation method , Polynomial function
Sheng, W., Li, H. and Murphy, J. (2017) 'An improved method for energy and resource assessment of waves in finite water depths', Energies, 10(8), 1188 (17pp). doi: 10.3390/en10081188