Wave Basin Experiments with Large Wave Energy Converter Arrays to Study Interactions between the Converters and Effects on Other Users in the Sea and the Coastal Area

Vasiliki Stratigaki, Peter Troch, Tim Stallard, David Forehand, Jens Peter Kofoed, Matt Folley, Michel Benoit, Aurélien Babarit and Jens Kirkegaard – Energies, February 2014


Experiments have been performed in the Shallow Water Wave Basin of DHI (Hørsholm, Denmark), on large arrays of up to 25 heaving point absorber type Wave Energy Converters (WECs), for a range of geometric layout configurations and wave conditions. WEC response and modifications of the wave field are measured to provide data for understanding WEC array interactions and to evaluate array interaction numerical models. Each WEC consists of a buoy with a diameter of 0.315 m and power take-off (PTO) is modeled by realizing friction based energy dissipation through damping of the WEC’s motion. Wave gauges are located within and around the WEC array. Wave conditions studied include regular, polychromatic, long- and short-crested irregular waves. A rectilinear arrangement of WEC support structures is employed such that several array configurations can be studied. In this paper, the experimental arrangement and the obtained database are presented. Also, results for wave height attenuation downwave a rectilinear array of 25 heaving WECs are presented, for the case of irregular waves. Up to 16.3% and 18.1% (long-crested) and 11.2% and 18.1% (short-crested waves) reduction in significant wave height is observed downwave the WEC array, for the radiated wave field only and for the combination of incident-diffracted-radiated (perturbed) wave field, respectively. Using spectra at different locations within and around the array, the wave field modifications are presented and discussed.



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