Estimation of the wave power resource in the Caribbean Sea in areas with scarce instrumentation. Case study: Isla Fuerte, Colombia


S. Ortega, A.F. Osorio, and P. Agudelo – Renewable Energy, September, 2013

Abstract

There are great difficulties in properly evaluating the power present in waves in the Caribbean Sea due to of the scarcity of marine instrumentation and the reduced length of the existing records. This research aimed to design a new methodology for estimating wave power potential in places lacking instrumentation by using reanalysis wind and wave generation models to generate hourly synthetic wave information (maps and wave series), which was later compared and corrected with nearby buoy measurements. Nested runs of the models allowed the results to be downscaled and detailed wave power maps to be created. The best sites for a possible wave farm could then be identified. These maps were built from the propagation of characteristic sea-states of the synthetic series, and were chosen using joint probability, power percentiles and the k-means clustering algorithms. New series were generated in the chosen locations and processed to determine the wave power potential in different time scales. Isla Fuerte, a small non grid-connected island in the Colombian Caribbean, served as a case study for the implementation of the methodology.

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