D. Silva, E. Rusu and C.G. Soares – Energies, March, 2013
The objective of the present work is to perform an evaluation of the performance provided by various technologies for wave energy conversion in the Portuguese continental coastal environment. The wave climate in the target area is first analyzed using the results from three years of simulations with a wave prediction system based on numerical models. Based on the above data, diagrams for the bivariate distributions of the sea states occurrences, defined by the significant wave height and the energy period, are designed for both winters and whole years. On this basis, the output of five different technologies for the conversion of wave energy is assessed in some relevant locations from the Portuguese nearshore. According to the results obtained, the Portuguese continental coastal environment appears to be appropriate for the wave energy extraction. At the same time, the present work shows that the output of the wave energy conversion devices does not depend only on the average wave energy but is also dependent on the distribution of the wave energy among the sea states of different periods. For this reason, a good agreement between the characteristics of the power matrices of the wave energy converters operating in a certain place and the diagrams for the bivariate distributions of the sea states occurrences corresponding to the considered location represents a key issue in selecting the most appropriate technology for wave energy conversion.