A.E.S. Duerr, M.R. Dhanak, and J.H. Van Zwieten – Marine Technology Society Journal, October, 2012
Traditionally, renewable energy resources have been assessed through collection and analysis of extensive in situ observations; however, in situ data collection can be cost and time prohibitive, especially for initial site selection and feasibility studies. Ocean models, such as the HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM), provide corresponding data for resource assessment at a significantly lower cost, provided the models can be validated and appropriately corrected through comparison with some in situ observations. In this study, in situ velocity observations in the Florida Current are compared with the velocities predicted by the ocean model. Measured velocity profiles at the location of a moored ADCP have been compared with corresponding predictions from the HYCOM model. The data are used to evaluate the associated hydrokinetic energy and to estimate the energy resource using the HYCOM data and in situ observational data for comparison. In general, HYCOM predictions of the velocity and the corresponding energy resource in the Florida Current are lower than those suggested by the observational data. A method for addressing these apparent discrepancies is discussed and is shown to improve prediction of the resource assessment.