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Modeling Sea Ice Effects for Wave Energy Resource Assessments

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Coastal Sciences Division, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Florin Onea
Energies 2021, 14(12), 3482;
Received: 20 May 2021 / Revised: 5 June 2021 / Accepted: 7 June 2021 / Published: 11 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nearshore Wind and Wave Energy Potential)
Wave-generated power has potential as a valuable coastal resource, but the wave climate needs to be mapped for feasibility before wave energy converters are installed. Numerical models are used for wave resource assessments to quantify the amount of available power and its seasonality. Alaska is the U.S. state with the longest coastline and has extensive wave resources, but it is affected by seasonal sea ice that dampens the wave energy and the full extent of this dampening is unknown. To accurately characterize the wave resource in regions that experience seasonal sea ice, coastal wave models must account for these effects. The aim of this study is to determine how the dampening effects of sea ice change wave energy resource assessments in the nearshore. Here, we show that by combining high-resolution sea ice imagery with a sea ice/wave dampening parameterization in an unstructured grid, the Simulating Waves Nearshore (SWAN) model improves wave height predictions and demonstrates the extent to which wave power decreases when sea ice is present. The sea ice parametrization decreases the bias and root mean square errors of wave height comparisons with two wave buoys and predicts a decrease in the wave power of up to 100 kW/m in areas around Prince William Sound, Alaska. The magnitude of the improvement of the model/buoy comparison depends on the coefficients used to parameterize the wave–ice interaction. View Full-Text
Keywords: wave energy resource; wave–ice interaction; Alaska Coast; SWAN; WW3 wave energy resource; wave–ice interaction; Alaska Coast; SWAN; WW3
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MDPI and ACS Style

Branch, R.; García-Medina, G.; Yang, Z.; Wang, T.; Ticona Rollano, F.; Hosekova, L. Modeling Sea Ice Effects for Wave Energy Resource Assessments. Energies 2021, 14, 3482.

AMA Style

Branch R, García-Medina G, Yang Z, Wang T, Ticona Rollano F, Hosekova L. Modeling Sea Ice Effects for Wave Energy Resource Assessments. Energies. 2021; 14(12):3482.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Branch, Ruth, Gabriel García-Medina, Zhaoqing Yang, Taiping Wang, Fadia Ticona Rollano, and Lucia Hosekova. 2021. "Modeling Sea Ice Effects for Wave Energy Resource Assessments" Energies 14, no. 12: 3482.

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