Wave energy from sea waves is extracted by using a Wave Energy Converter (WEC). To extract a
considerable amount of wave energy at one location, large numbers of WECs need to be arranged in
“arms” using a particular geometrical layout. Interactions between the individual WECs (near-field
effects) and the wave height reduction behind a WEC farm (far-field effects) affect the overall power
extraction of the farm. For power output optimization, a numerical modelling approach of the farm
layout is used, which still requires experimental validation but this is not yet available from
literature. Therefore, physical model experiments will be performed (within the research activities
of the UGent Coastal Engineering Research Group (AWW) and 4 PhDs), in the new 3D large-scale
Coastal & Ocean wave Basin (COB) at Ostend, Belgium, within the upcoming ‘ECfarm’project.
Prior to these experiments and within this project, the point absorber WECs (to be used) need to be
constructed and optimized. Firstly, one "master WEC" will be developed with regard to the design of
the power take-off system and the geometry, and tested under several wave conditions, in the wave
flumes of UGent and FHR (4 WECs). Secondly, 20 identical point absorber WECs will be constructed,
taking into account specific mounting and instrumentation techniques for testing a farm in the wave
basin. The requested research grant will be used for the development and construction of the 20
point absorber WECs.