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Energies 2016, 9(10), 843; doi:10.3390/en9100843

Impact of Tidal Level Variations on Wave Energy Absorption at Wave Hub

Swedish Centre for Renewable Electric Energy Conversion, Division of Electricity, Ångström Lab., Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala University, Uppsala 75121, Sweden
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Academic Editor: Stephen Nash
Received: 1 July 2016 / Revised: 20 September 2016 / Accepted: 11 October 2016 / Published: 19 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Numerical Modelling of Wave and Tidal Energy)
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Abstract

The energy absorption of the wave energy converters (WEC) characterized by a limited stroke length —like the point absorbers developed at Uppsala University—depends on the sea level variation at the deployment site. In coastal areas characterized by high tidal ranges, the daily energy production of the generators is not optimal. The study presented in this paper quantifies the effects of the changing sea level at the Wave Hub test site, located at the south-west coast of England. This area is strongly affected by tides: the tidal height calculated as the difference between the Mean High Water Spring and the Mean Low Water Spring in 2014 was about 6.6 m. The results are obtained from a hydro-mechanic model that analyzes the behaviour of the point absorber at the Wave Hub, taking into account the sea state occurrence scatter diagram and the tidal time series at the site. It turns out that the impact of the tide decreases the energy absorption by 53%. For this reason, the need for a tidal compensation system to be included in the design of the WEC becomes compelling. The economic advantages are evaluated for different scenarios: the economic analysis proposed within the paper allows an educated guess to be made on the profits. The alternative of extending the stroke length of the WEC is investigated, and the gain in energy absorption is estimated. View Full-Text
Keywords: wave energy converter (WEC); tides; Wave Hub; energy absorption; economic analysis wave energy converter (WEC); tides; Wave Hub; energy absorption; economic analysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Castellucci, V.; Eriksson, M.; Waters, R. Impact of Tidal Level Variations on Wave Energy Absorption at Wave Hub. Energies 2016, 9, 843.

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