H2020 WETFEET WP6 – Array Breakthroughs -Investigation of compact WEC arrays through laboratory tests and numerical modelling
People: Ben Howey, Dr Keri Collins, Dr Martyn Hann and Professor Deborah Greaves.
Date: October 2015
Grant: H2020 WETFEET WP6
Partners: IST, WavEC and INNOSEA
The wave energy extraction industry is at a critical point in its pathway to commercialisation. Developers are reaching a stage by where full scale prototypes are being tested at sea and the device characteristics are understood. The pathway to commercialisation is defined by EMEC as a Technology readiness level (TRL). Some developers are now reaching a pre-commercial TRL 7 level, with the next step involving deploying several devices and an economic validation. In order to maximise development economic efficiencies an array of multiple devices increases the extracted power whilst minimising deployment costs per device. Much work is currently being carried out into inter-array effects which can be utilised to maximise array power outputs. For any given array, it can be seen from Figure 1 that circa 27% of the total development costs are in the anchor and mooring and deployment. This deployment is directly linked to the number and weights of anchors, with specialist handling vessels from the oil and gas industry often required at highly variable and huge costs. Therefore, if anchor and mooring line costs are minimised the total development costs can be hugely reduced, yielding a more competitive LCOE for any given array.