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Experimental measurements of irregular wave interaction factors in closely spaced arrays

Experimental measurements of irregular wave interaction factors in closely spaced arrays

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Much of the published work concerning the response and power output of closely spaced arrays of heaving wave energy devices concerns behaviour in regular waves only and is based on numerical analysis. To date, limited experimental work has been published and it remains unclear how device interactions predicted in idealised models relate to the response of proposed devices in realistic irregular wave-fields. Experimental measurements of the power absorbed by a small two-dimensional array of heaving devices in both regular and irregular waves in a wide flume are reported. In regular wave conditions, positive interactions (where the average power output of the array exceeds the same number of isolated devices) are measured. These tests indicate that the occurrence of positive interactions is largely dependent on the incident wave period and the performance of adjacent devices. Preliminary tests indicate that float responses tend to be smaller when subjected to short period irregular waves of matching peak frequency and standard deviation of surface elevation. The data presented provide an insight into interactions within irregular wave conditions and forms a basis for evaluating numerical models.

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