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Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1300; doi:10.3390/su8121300

Wave Energy Assessment and Performance Estimation of State of the Art Wave Energy Converters in Italian Hotspots

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Florence, Via S. Marta 3, 50139 Florence, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Diego Vicinanza and Mariano Buccino
Received: 29 September 2016 / Revised: 25 November 2016 / Accepted: 5 December 2016 / Published: 10 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wave Energy Converters)
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Abstract

This paper presents an assessment of offshore wave energy potential at the scale of the whole Mediterranean Sea. The offshore wave data were propagated, by means of numerical modeling, toward four Italian coastal areas, namely stretches of coast of Tuscany, Liguria, Sardinia and Sicily. For each area, the wave power and the monthly, seasonal and annual variability at water depths of 50 m and 15 m were analyzed and hotspots were located. The results show strong variability of the wave energy potential from point to point of the same area thus highlighting the need for spatially detailed analysis. The higher values of wave energy potential are located in the hotspots of Sardinia and Sicily, at 11.4 kW/m and 9.1 kW/m, respectively. The Tuscany and the Liguria hotspots are characterized, respectively, by 4.7 kW/m and 2.0 kW/m. In order to point out which state of the art WEC is best suited for the Italian areas, the performances of six different state of the art Wave Energy Converters (WECs) were evaluated. Finally, a comparison of the performances of each WEC in the selected Italian sites and in some European (EU) oceanic sites was conducted. The energy potential in the most energetic EU oceanic site, among those here investigated, is up to 38-times greater than the potentials in the studied Italian areas but the power output, of the best WEC technology, is no more than nine times greater. View Full-Text
Keywords: wave energy; Mediterranean Sea; offshore wave energy assessment; coastal wave energy assessment; wave energy hotspots; performances of wave energy converters wave energy; Mediterranean Sea; offshore wave energy assessment; coastal wave energy assessment; wave energy hotspots; performances of wave energy converters
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Vannucchi, V.; Cappietti, L. Wave Energy Assessment and Performance Estimation of State of the Art Wave Energy Converters in Italian Hotspots. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1300.

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