DOI: 10.3390/su151712777 ISSN:

A 3D BEM Model for the Hydrodynamic Analysis and Design of Heaving WEC Arrays Attached to a Breakwater

Alexandros Magkouris, Markos Bonovas, Theodoros Gerostathis, Kostas Belibassakis
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

Assessment of the performance of arrays of wave energy converters (WECs) of the type of simple heaving floaters, operating in nearshore and coastal areas, is essential to estimate their power production capacity. The effective design and layout of such WEC farms can be supported by studying the system’s operational characteristics based on the wave climatology of the deployment region. Installation along the exposed side of harbor breakwaters in sea areas with substantial incoming energy potential is a promising option. In this study, a 3D hydrodynamic model based on the boundary element method (BEM) is presented and discussed, aiming to evaluate the performance of WEC arrays consisting of multiple heaving bodies attached to the exposed side of a harbor breakwater, modelled as a vertical wall, considering its reflective effects, as well as hydrodynamic interactions between the multiple floating devices. Numerical results of the predicted power performance for various configurations, including interactions of multiple WECs with the nearshore topography and the breakwater wall, as well as the effects of power take off (PTO) parameters, are presented and discussed. Finally, a case study is presented for a selected coastal site at the port of Heraklion, located in the north-central part of Crete Island in the South Aegean Sea, characterized by relatively increased wave energy potential, using long-term climatological data, illustrating the method and its applicability as a supporting tool for optimal design of WEC arrangements.

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