Wave Energy Converter Array Optimization : Array Economic Analysis and Preliminary Results of a Genetic Algorithm Approach Introducing Cost Factors Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/ft848t40s

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  • With the need to integrate renewable energy sources into the current energy portfolio and the proximity of many population centers to an ocean coastline, it is pressing that marine energy systems, specifically wave energy converters (WECs), are evaluated as potential solutions for meeting energy needs. In order to best understand power development, economics, grid integration requirements, and other aspects prior to installation, the ability to model these systems computationally is vital to their eventual deployment. However, the research area of WEC array optimization is young, and as such, results from previously implemented optimization methods are both few in number and preliminary in nature. The goal of this research is to investigate the economics of implementing WEC arrays, determine viable cost models, create an optimization framework for WEC arrays that will enable developers to - for the first time - understand the tradeoff between power development and cost for potential WEC arrays, and to explore preliminary systems-level issues, such as WEC layout and device spacing. A genetic algorithm approach that utilizes an analytic hydrodynamic model and introduces the use of an array cost model is presented. The resulting optimal layouts for two studies are then discussed. This work is integral in providing an understanding of device layout and spacing and is a foundational starting point for subsequent and more advanced WEC array optimization research.
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