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Open AccessArticle

Historical Evolution of the Wave Resource and Energy Production off the Chilean Coast over the 20th Century

by Alain Ulazia 1,*,†, Markel Penalba 2,†, Arkaitz Rabanal 3,†, Gabriel Ibarra-Berastegi 4,5,†, John Ringwood 2,† and Jon Sáenz 5,6,†
1
Department of NE and Fluid Mechanics, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Otaola 29, 20600 Eibar, Spain
2
Centre for Ocean Energy Research, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland
3
University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Otaola 29, 20600 Eibar, Spain
4
Department of NE and Fluid Mechanics, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Alda. Urkijo, 48013 Bilbao, Spain
5
Joint Research Unit (UPV/EHU-IEO) Plentziako Itsas Estazioa (PIE), University of Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Areatza Hiribidea 47, 48620 Plentzia, Spain
6
Department of Applied Physics II, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). B. Sarriena s/n, 48940 Leioa, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Energies 2018, 11(9), 2289; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11092289
Received: 22 July 2018 / Revised: 4 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wave and Tidal Energy)
The wave energy resource in the Chilean coast shows particularly profitable characteristics for wave energy production, with relatively high mean wave power and low inter-annual resource variability. This combination is as interesting as unusual, since high energetic locations are usually also highly variable, such as the west coast of Ireland. Long-term wave resource variations are also an important aspect when designing wave energy converters (WECs), which are often neglected in resource assessment. The present paper studies the long-term resource variability of the Chilean coast, dividing the 20th century into five do-decades and analysing the variations between the different do-decades. To that end, the ERA20C reanalysis of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts is calibrated versus the ERA-Interim reanalysis and validated against buoy measurements collected in different points of the Chilean coast. Historical resource variations off the Chilean coast are compared to resource variations off the west coast in Ireland, showing a significantly more consistent wave resource. In addition, the impact of historical wave resource variations on a realistic WEC, similar to the Corpower device, is studied, comparing the results to those obtained off the west coast of Ireland. The annual power production off the Chilean coast is demonstrated to be remarkably more regular over the 20th century, with variations of just 1% between the different do-decades. View Full-Text
Keywords: wave energy trends; reanalysis wave data; Chilean coast; renewable energy; wave energy converters; annual mean power production wave energy trends; reanalysis wave data; Chilean coast; renewable energy; wave energy converters; annual mean power production
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Ulazia, A.; Penalba, M.; Rabanal, A.; Ibarra-Berastegi, G.; Ringwood, J.; Sáenz, J. Historical Evolution of the Wave Resource and Energy Production off the Chilean Coast over the 20th Century. Energies 2018, 11, 2289.

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