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Experimental results from the operation of aggregated wave energy converters

Experimental results from the operation of aggregated wave energy converters

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Wave energy comes in pulses and is unsuitable for direct conversion and transmission to the grid. One method to smooth the power is to deploy arrays of wave energy converters (WECs), the geometrical layout and damping optimisation of which many have studied analytically and numerically, but very few by experiments at sea. In this study, the standard deviation of electrical power as function of various parameters is investigated. Two offshore experiments have been conducted. During the longer run, three WECs were operated in linear damping during 19.7 days. It is shown that the standard deviation reduces with the number of WECs in the array up to three WECs. The reduction compared to single WEC operation was found here to be 30 and 80% with two and three WECs, respectively, as a mean for an arbitrary array member. It is found that in sea states above ∼2 kW/m, the standard deviation is independent of sea state parameters. This is contradictory to a previous study on the same device. The results are, however, in accordance with numerical results of the SEAREV device but show larger reduction in standard deviation with number of WECs. This could be because of suboptimal damping conditions.

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