Special Issue "Wave and Tidal Energy Resource Characterization and Environment Interactions"

A special issue of Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (ISSN 2077-1312). This special issue belongs to the section "Ocean Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Zhaoqing Yang
Website
Guest Editor
1 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 1100 Dexter Ave North, Suite 500, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA;
2 Distinguished Faculty Fellow, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA
Interests: estuarine and coastal hydrodynamics; numerical modeling; marine renewable energy; storm surge and coastal flooding; climate change; nearshore transport processes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Marine renewable energy has gained great attention due to the rapid increase of energy demand in highly-populated coastal regions and its potential to mitigate the effects of global warming as a result of greenhouse gas emissions. In particular, there has been extensive research and project development over the last decade on wave and tidal energy because they are highly predictable and have greater resources compared to other MHK energy sources. However, many challenges remain in terms of improving the accuracy of resource characterization and the understanding of interactions with the ambient marine environment. This Special Issue invites prospective authors to submit their most recent marine-energy-related studies on resource characterization and environmental interactions.

Dr. Zhaoqing Yang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Wave and tidal energy
  • Resource characterization
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Numerical modelling
  • Field measurement and laboratory experiments
  • Techno-economic and social analysis
  • Sediment transport and water quality
  • Underwater acoustics
  • International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Environmental Permitting and Compliance Cost Reduction Strategies for the MHK Industry: Lessons Learned from Other Industries
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(8), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8080554 - 24 Jul 2020
Abstract
The marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) industry plays a vital role in the U.S. clean energy strategy by providing a renewable, domestic energy source that may offset the need for traditional energy sources. The first MHK deployments in the U.S. have incurred very high [...] Read more.
The marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) industry plays a vital role in the U.S. clean energy strategy by providing a renewable, domestic energy source that may offset the need for traditional energy sources. The first MHK deployments in the U.S. have incurred very high permitting costs and long timelines for deploying projects, which increases project risk and discourages investment. A key challenge to advancing an economically competitive U.S. MHK industry is reducing the time and cost required for environmental permitting and compliance with government regulations. Other industries such as offshore oil and gas, offshore wind energy, subsea power and data cables, onshore wind energy, and solar energy facilities have all developed more robust permitting and compliance pathways that provide lessons for the MHK industry in the U.S. and may help inform the global consenting process. Based on in-depth review and research into each of the other industries, we describe the environmental permitting pathways, the main environmental concerns and types of monitoring typically associated with them, and factors that appear to have eased environmental permitting and compliance issues. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling Assessment of Tidal Energy Extraction in the Western Passage
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(6), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8060411 - 05 Jun 2020
Abstract
Numerical models have been widely used for the resource characterization and assessment of tidal instream energy. The accurate assessment of tidal stream energy resources at a feasibility or project-design scale requires detailed hydrodynamic model simulations or high-quality field measurements. This study applied a [...] Read more.
Numerical models have been widely used for the resource characterization and assessment of tidal instream energy. The accurate assessment of tidal stream energy resources at a feasibility or project-design scale requires detailed hydrodynamic model simulations or high-quality field measurements. This study applied a three-dimensional finite-volume community ocean model (FVCOM) to simulate the tidal hydrodynamics in the Passamaquoddy–Cobscook Bay archipelago, with a focus on the Western Passage, to assist tidal energy resource assessment. IEC Technical specifications were considered in the model configurations and simulations. The model was calibrated and validated with field measurements. Energy fluxes and power densities along selected cross sections were calculated to evaluate the feasibility of the tidal energy development at several hotspots that feature strong currents. When taking both the high current speed and water depth into account, the model results showed that the Western Passage has great potential for the deployment of tidal energy farms. The maximum extractable power in the Western Passage was estimated using the Garrett and Cummins method. Different criteria and methods recommended by the IEC for resource characterization were evaluated and discussed using a sensitivity analysis of energy extraction for a hypothetical tidal turbine farm in the Western Passage. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Characterization of Extreme Wave Conditions for Wave Energy Converter Design and Project Risk Assessment
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(4), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8040289 - 18 Apr 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Best practices and international standards for determining n-year return period extreme wave (sea states) conditions allow wave energy converter designers and project developers the option to apply simple univariate or more complex bivariate extreme value analysis methods. The present study compares extreme [...] Read more.
Best practices and international standards for determining n-year return period extreme wave (sea states) conditions allow wave energy converter designers and project developers the option to apply simple univariate or more complex bivariate extreme value analysis methods. The present study compares extreme sea state estimates derived from univariate and bivariate methods and investigates the performance of spectral wave models for predicting extreme sea states at buoy locations within several regional wave climates along the US East and West Coasts. Two common third-generation spectral wave models are evaluated, a WAVEWATCH III® model with a grid resolution of 4 arc-minutes (6–7 km), and a Simulating WAves Nearshore model, with a coastal resolution of 200–300 m. Both models are used to generate multi-year hindcasts, from which extreme sea state statistics used for wave conditions characterization can be derived and compared to those based on in-situ observations at National Data Buoy Center stations. Comparison of results using different univariate and bivariate methods from the same data source indicates reasonable agreement on average. Discrepancies are predominantly random. Large discrepancies are common and increase with return period. There is a systematic underbias for extreme significant wave heights derived from model hindcasts compared to those derived from buoy measurements. This underbias is dependent on model spatial resolution. However, simple linear corrections can effectively compensate for this bias. A similar approach is not possible for correcting model-derived environmental contours, but other methods, e.g., machine learning, should be explored. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Tidal Hydrodynamic Model for Cook Inlet, Alaska, to Support Tidal Energy Resource Characterization
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(4), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8040254 - 04 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Cook Inlet in Alaska has been identified as a prime site in the U.S. for potential tidal energy development, because of its enormous tidal power potential that accounts for nearly one-third of the national total. As one important step to facilitate tidal energy [...] Read more.
Cook Inlet in Alaska has been identified as a prime site in the U.S. for potential tidal energy development, because of its enormous tidal power potential that accounts for nearly one-third of the national total. As one important step to facilitate tidal energy development, a tidal hydrodynamic model based on the unstructured-grid, finite-volume community ocean model (FVCOM) was developed for Cook Inlet to characterize the tidal stream energy resource. The model has a grid resolution that varies from about 1000 m at the open boundary to 100–300 m inside the Inlet. Extensive model validation was achieved by comparing model predictions with field observations for tidal elevation and velocity at various locations in Cook Inlet. The error statistics confirmed the model performs reasonably well in capturing the tidal dynamics in the system, e.g., R2 > 0.98 for tidal elevation and generally > 0.9 for velocity. Model results suggest that tides in Cook Inlet evolve from progressive waves at the entrance to standing waves at the upper Inlet, and that semi-diurnal tidal constituents are amplified more rapidly than diurnal constituents. The model output was used to identify hotspots that have high energy potential and warrant additional velocity and turbulence measurements such as East Foreland, where averaged power density exceeds 5 kw/m2. Lastly, a tidal energy extraction simulation was conducted for a hypothetical turbine farm configuration at the Forelands cross section to evaluate tidal energy extraction and resulting changes in far-field hydrodynamics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating the Potential for Tidal Phase Diversity to Produce Smoother Power Profiles
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(4), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8040246 - 02 Apr 2020
Abstract
Although tidal energy conversion technologies are not yet commercially available or cost-competitive with other renewable energy technologies like wind turbines and solar panels, tides are a highly predictable resource. Tidal energy’s predictability indicates that the resource could introduce less volatility into balancing the [...] Read more.
Although tidal energy conversion technologies are not yet commercially available or cost-competitive with other renewable energy technologies like wind turbines and solar panels, tides are a highly predictable resource. Tidal energy’s predictability indicates that the resource could introduce less volatility into balancing the electric grid when compared to other renewables, a fundamentally desirable attribute for the electric system. More specifically, tidal energy resources are unique in that they have the potential to produce relatively smoother power profiles over time through aggregation. In order to generate smooth power profiles from tidal resources, sufficient complexity within the timing of tides is necessary within electrical proximity. This study evaluates the concept of aggregating diverse tides for the purpose of reducing periods of no and low energy production and creating smoother power profiles in regions around Alaska and Washington by calculating cross-correlations of tidal current velocity time series. Ultimately, study results show limited potential to exploit the resources for this purpose and describe the institutional mechanisms necessary to realize the benefits in practice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Potential Hydrodynamic Impacts and Performances of Commercial-Scale Turbine Arrays in the Strait of Larantuka, Indonesia
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(3), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8030223 - 22 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The Strait of Larantuka, with highly energetic tidal stream currents reaching speeds of up to 3–4 m/s, is a promising site for renewable electricity production from the ocean. This paper presents the results of an assessment regarding the potential hydrodynamic impacts, wake characteristics, [...] Read more.
The Strait of Larantuka, with highly energetic tidal stream currents reaching speeds of up to 3–4 m/s, is a promising site for renewable electricity production from the ocean. This paper presents the results of an assessment regarding the potential hydrodynamic impacts, wake characteristics, and the performances of large scale turbine arrays in the strait. A high-resolution, three-dimensional baroclinic model is developed using the FLOW module of the Delft3D modeling system to simulate tidal currents. The energy of currents is assumed to be extracted by horizontal-axis tidal turbines, which can harness strong bi-directional flow, positioned on sequential rows and alternating downstream arrangements. Enhanced momentum sinks are used to represent the influence of energy extraction by the tidal turbines. Four different array layouts with rated capacities of up to 35 MW are considered. We find that, in the Strait of Larantuka, array layout significantly affects the flow conditions and the power output, mainly due to the geometric blockage effect of the bounded channel. With respect to undisturbed flow conditions in the strait, decreases in current speeds of up to about 0.6 m/s, alongside increases in the order of 80% near-shore are observed. While operating efficiency rates of turbines reaching around 50%–60% resulted during the spring tide in the arrays with smaller rated capacities, the power output of the devices was negligible during the neap tide. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Wave Energy Assessment in the South Aquitaine Nearshore Zone from a 44-Year Hindcast
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(3), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8030199 - 14 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Wave resource assessment is the first step toward the installation of a wave energy converter (WEC). To support initiatives for wave energy development in the southwest of France, a coastal wave database is built from a 44-year hindcast simulation with the spectral wave [...] Read more.
Wave resource assessment is the first step toward the installation of a wave energy converter (WEC). To support initiatives for wave energy development in the southwest of France, a coastal wave database is built from a 44-year hindcast simulation with the spectral wave model SWAN (Simulating WAve Nearshore) run on a high-resolution unstructured grid. The simulation includes shallow-water processes such as refraction, shoaling, and breaking. The model is validated against a five-year coastal wave buoy recording. The study shows that most of the resource is provided by sea states with wave heights ranging from 2 to 5 m, with wave periods from 10 and 15 s, and coming from a very narrow angular sector. The long hindcast duration and the refined unstructured grid used for the simulation allow assessment of the spatiotemporal distribution of wave energy across the coastal area. On the one hand, large longshore variations of the resource caused by steep bathymetric gradients such as the Capbreton submarine canyon are underlined. On the other hand, the study highlights that no specific long-term trend can be extracted regarding the coastal wave energy resource evolution. The provided downscaled local wave resource information may be used to optimize the location and design of a future WEC that could be deployed in the region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Seafloor Site Characterization for a Remote Island OWC Device Near King Island, Tasmania, Australia
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(3), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8030194 - 12 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
We present findings from a geotechnical survey for a gravity-based Wave Energy Converter (WEC) to be installed in King Island, Tasmania. The goal of this work was to assess the deployment location for a 200 kW Oscillating Water Column (OWC) and to identify [...] Read more.
We present findings from a geotechnical survey for a gravity-based Wave Energy Converter (WEC) to be installed in King Island, Tasmania. The goal of this work was to assess the deployment location for a 200 kW Oscillating Water Column (OWC) and to identify possible challenges for the foundation of the structure to make it Australia’s first operational offshore OWC for a remote offshore island. The proposed location for this OWC is the southeast coast of King Island, Tasmania, approximately in a depth of ~5.5 m LAT. The survey included sub-bottom profiling, sediment cores, surficial sediment strength by penetrometer drops, seabed imagery, as well as long-term deployment (>6 months) of pressure sondes and an acoustic wave current profiler (AWAC). Our findings demonstrate that the WEC can be installed in the proposed location with significant wave height Hs ~1–1.5 m and peak period Tp of 12–14 s, and that the site exhibits sufficient sand coverage and quasisteady bearing capacity. The period between the survey and prospective deployment is only one year, demonstrating the efficiency of the survey methods (in particular, the use of the penetrometer) and OWC design but also the suitability of the candidate site for this device design. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Vector Sensor-Based Acoustic Characterization System for Marine Renewable Energy
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(3), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8030187 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
NoiseSpotter is a passive acoustic monitoring system that characterizes, classifies, and geo-locates anthropogenic and natural sounds in near real time. It was developed with the primary goal of supporting the evaluation of potential acoustic effects of offshore renewable energy projects. The system consists [...] Read more.
NoiseSpotter is a passive acoustic monitoring system that characterizes, classifies, and geo-locates anthropogenic and natural sounds in near real time. It was developed with the primary goal of supporting the evaluation of potential acoustic effects of offshore renewable energy projects. The system consists of a compact array of three acoustic vector sensors, which measures acoustic pressure and the three-dimensional particle velocity vector associated with the propagation of an acoustic wave, thereby inherently providing bearing information to an underwater source of sound. By utilizing an array of three vector sensors, the application of beamforming techniques can provide sound source localization, allowing for characterization of the acoustic signature of specific underwater acoustic sources. Here, performance characteristics of the system are presented, using data from controlled acoustic transmissions in a quiet environment and ambient noise measurements in an energetic tidal channel in the presence of non-acoustic flow noise. Data quality is demonstrated by the ability to reduce non-acoustic flow noise contamination, while system utility is shown by the ability to characterize and localize sources of sound in the underwater environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Risk Retirement—Decreasing Uncertainty and Informing Consenting Processes for Marine Renewable Energy Development
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(3), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8030172 - 04 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Marine renewable energy (MRE) is under development in many coastal nations, adding to the portfolio of low carbon energy sources that power national electricity grids as well as off-grid uses in isolated areas and at sea. Progress in establishing the MRE industry, largely [...] Read more.
Marine renewable energy (MRE) is under development in many coastal nations, adding to the portfolio of low carbon energy sources that power national electricity grids as well as off-grid uses in isolated areas and at sea. Progress in establishing the MRE industry, largely wave and tidal energy, has been slowed in part due to uncertainty about environmental risks of these devices, including harm to marine animals and habitats, and the associated concerns of regulators and stakeholders. A process for risk retirement was developed to organize and apply knowledge in a strategic manner that considered whether specific environmental effects are likely to cause harm. The risk retirement process was tested against two key MRE stressors: effects of underwater noise from operational MRE devices on marine animals, and effects of electromagnetic fields from MRE electrical export cables on marine animals. The effects of installation of MRE devices were not accounted for in this analysis. Applying the risk retirement process could decrease the need for costly investigations of each potential effect at every new MRE project site and help move the industry beyond current barriers. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Influence of Time and Frequency Domain Wave Forcing on the Power Estimation of a Wave Energy Converter Array
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(3), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8030171 - 04 Mar 2020
Abstract
Industry-specific tools for analyzing and optimizing the design of wave energy converters (WECs) and associated power systems are essential to advancing marine renewable energy. This study aims to quantify the influence of phase information on the device power output of a virtual WEC [...] Read more.
Industry-specific tools for analyzing and optimizing the design of wave energy converters (WECs) and associated power systems are essential to advancing marine renewable energy. This study aims to quantify the influence of phase information on the device power output of a virtual WEC array. We run the phase-resolving wave model FUNWAVE-TVD (Total Variation Diminishing) to generate directional waves at the PacWave South site offshore from Newport, Oregon, where future WECs are expected to be installed for testing. The two broad cases presented correspond to mean wave climates during warm months (March–August) and cold months (September–February). FUNWAVE-TVD time series of sea-surface elevation are then used in WEC-Sim, a time domain numerical model, to simulate the hydrodynamic response of each device in the array and estimate their power output. For comparison, WEC-Sim is also run with wave energy spectra calculated from the FUNWAVE-TVD simulations, which do not retain phase information, and with wave spectra computed using the phase-averaged model Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN). The use of spectral data in WEC-Sim requires a conversion from frequency to time domain by means of random superposition of wave components, which are not necessarily consistent because of the linear assumption implicit in this method. Thus, power response is characterized by multiple realizations of the wave climates. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Numerical Methods for Modeling the Wave Field Effects Generated by Individual Wave Energy Converters and Multiple Converter Wave Farms
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(3), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8030168 - 03 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This numerical study compares the wave field generated by the spectral wave action balance code, SNL-SWAN, to the linear-wave boundary-element method (BEM) code, WAMIT. The objective of this study is to assess the performance of SNL-SWAN for modeling wave field effects produced by [...] Read more.
This numerical study compares the wave field generated by the spectral wave action balance code, SNL-SWAN, to the linear-wave boundary-element method (BEM) code, WAMIT. The objective of this study is to assess the performance of SNL-SWAN for modeling wave field effects produced by individual wave energy converters (WECs) and wave farms comprising multiple WECs by comparing results from SNL-SWAN with those produced by the BEM code WAMIT. BEM codes better model the physics of wave-body interactions and thus simulate a more accurate near-field wave field than spectral codes. In SNL-SWAN, the wave field’s energy extraction is modeled parametrically based on the WEC’s power curve. The comparison between SNL-SWAN and WAMIT is made over a range of incident wave conditions, including short-, medium-, and long-wavelength waves with various amounts of directional spreading, and for three WEC archetypes: a point absorber (PA), a pitching flap (PF) terminator, and a hinged raft (HR) attenuator. Individual WECs and wave farms of five WECs in various configuration were studied with qualitative comparisons made of wave height and spectra at specific locations, and quantitative comparisons of the wave fields over circular arcs around the WECs as a function of radial distance. Results from this numerical study demonstrate that in the near-field, the difference between SNL-SWAN and WAMIT is relatively large (between 20% and 50%), but in the far-field from the array the differences are minimal (between 1% and 5%). The resultant wave field generated by the two different numerical approaches is highly dependent on parameters such as: directional wave spreading, wave reflection or scattering, and the WEC’s power curve. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of the Modulation of the Tidal Stream Resource by Ocean Currents through a Complex Tidal Channel
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7(10), 341; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse7100341 - 28 Sep 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Tidal energy has the opportunity to bring reliable electricity to remote regions in the world. A resource assessment, including the response of the tidal stream resource to fluctuations in the Indonesian Through Flow (ITF) is performed using the Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS) [...] Read more.
Tidal energy has the opportunity to bring reliable electricity to remote regions in the world. A resource assessment, including the response of the tidal stream resource to fluctuations in the Indonesian Through Flow (ITF) is performed using the Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS) to simulate four different scenarios for flow through the Lombok Strait in Indonesia. Tidal currents simulated with a variable ITF are compared against a tide-only (TO) simulation to identify how the ITF spatially changes the resource across the Lombok Strait. We find that the uncertainty in the tidal currents from the TO simulation is 50% greater than the variable ITF simulation. To identify change to resource, surface velocities from Strong ITF and Weak ITF scenarios are considered. As a result of the fluctuations in the ITF, certain characteristics, such as the asymmetry and magnitude, of the tidal current vary greatly. However, the magnitude of change is variable, with regions to the west of the strait experiencing greater modulation than in the east, suggesting that resource uncertainty can be minimised with selective site positioning. Full article
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