Laboratory observations and numerical modeling of the effects of an array of wave energy converters Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/bc386m849

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  • This thesis investigates the effects of wave energy converters (WECs) on water waves through the analysis of extensive laboratory experiments, as well as subsequent numerical simulations. Data for the analysis was collected during the WEC-Array Experiments performed at the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory at Oregon State University, under co-operation with Columbia Power Technologies, using five 1:33 scale point-absorbing WECs. The observed wave measurement and WEC performance data sets allowed for a direct computation of power removed from the wave field for a large suite of incident wave conditions and WEC array sizes. To numerically represent WEC effects the influence of the WECs upon the wave field was parameterized using the power absorption data from the WECs. Because a large driver of the WECs influence on the wave field is absorbed wave power by the WEC, it is reasonable to attempt a parameterization based on this process. It was of interest as to whether this parameterization, which does not account for wave scattering among other physics, could provide a good estimate of far-field effects. Accurately predicting WEC-array effects in the far-field requires empirical validation. Previous WEC analysis and modeling studies had limited data available for model verification, and additionally had used idealized WEC performance. In the present work we develop a WEC-array parameterization for use in phase-averaged wave models (e.g. SWAN). This parametrization only considers the wave absorption effects of the WECs and the model predictions of far-field effects are compared to observations. Further testing of the SWAN model was performed against a phase-resolving model, WAMIT, to determine the significance of physics the WEC absorption parameterization does not capture, such as scattered waves. Considering the complexity of the problem, the parameterization of WECs by only power absorption is a reasonable predictor of the effect of WECs on the far field.
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