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Wake effects behind a farm of wave energy converters for irregular long-crested and short-crested waves

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  • Ecology


The contribution of wave energy to the renewable energy supply is rising. To extract a considerable amount of wave power, Wave Energy Converters (WECs) are arranged in several rows or in a ’farm’. WECs in a farm are interacting (e.g. the presence of other WECs influence the operational behaviour of a single WEC) and the overall power absorption is affected. In this paper wake effects in the lee of a single WEC and multiple WECs of the overtopping type, where the water volume of overtopped waves is first captured in a basin above mean sea level and then drains back to the sea through hydro turbines, are studied using the time-dependent mild-slope equation model MILDwave. The wake behind a single WEC is investigated for long-crested and short-crested incident waves. The wake becomes wider for larger wave peak periods. An increasing directional spreading results in a faster wave regeneration and a shorter wake behind the WEC. The wake in the lee of multiple WECs is calculated for two different farm lay-outs, i.e. an aligned grid and a staggered grid, with varying lateral and longitudinal spacing. The wave power redistribution in and behind each farm lay-out is studied in detail using MILDwave. In general, the staggered grid results in the highest overall wave power absorption.

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