Experimental study and numerical modelling of combined near-field interactions and far-field effects of wave energy converter farms

01 October 2018 → 31 December 2022
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Power electronics
    • Energy generation, conversion and storage engineering
wave energy converter farms
Project description

Wave energy from sea waves is exploited by using Wave Energy Converters (WECs). To extract a
considerable amount of wave energy at one location, large numbers of WECs need to be arranged
in “farms”, using a particular geometric layout. Interactions between the individual WECs (nearfield
effects) and the impact of the WEC farm on the wave field (far-field effects) affect the overall
efficiency of the farm. For farm power output optimization, numerical modelling approaches are
mainly employed, however their validation is incomplete due to lack of experimental data in the
literature. Therefore within this project, experiments with large WEC farms will be performed in
the new 3D Coastal & Ocean wave Basin (Belgium). Prior to these experiments point absorber
scale model WECs will be developed, constructed and optimized. Firstly, wave flume tests will be
performed using a single WEC, under a range of wave conditions. Secondly, 20 identical WECs will
be constructed and tested in the wave basin, arranged in various farm geometric layouts. Thirdly,
for the numerical modelling of both near- and far-field WEC farm effects, an OceanWave3DDualSPHysics
coupling will be developed and fully validated using the obtained WEC farm data.
This type of modelling tool, with this level of complexity and accuracy, does not yet exist and will
be very valuable as a research and design tool for many floating structures types in the fields of marine renewable energy, coastal & offshore engineering.