University of Plymouth's COAST Engineering Research Group - active project: Wave Farm Impacts and Design (WAVEIMPACT)

Title: Wave Farm Impacts and Design (WAVEIMPACT)

Marie Curie Fellow: Professor Gregorio Iglesias

PhD Student: James Allen

Grant: Funded by EU FP7 - Marie Curie fellowship PCIG13-GA-2013-618556 (£100,000), and two £5,000 Santander Seed-corn Scholarships.

Date: Oct 2014

The WAVEIMPACT project has several overarching objectives, chief amongst which is to characterise the interaction of a wave energy farm with the wave field. This will be accomplished through laboratory testing of a single Wave Energy Converter (WEC) followed by testing using multiple WECs in several different configurations. The laboratory tests are then used to validate a numerical model, case studies chosen and analysed and a set of guidelines produced based on the case studies.

The WAVEIMPACT project has five objectives: (i) to characterise the interaction of a wave farm with the wave field by means of the first laboratory tests of an array of WECs; (ii) to implement, calibrate and validate a numerical model of wave propagation based on the laboratory results; (iii) to select a number (3-5) of potential wave farm sites as case studies, taking into account their wave resource and other relevant characteristics; (iv) to apply the model to these case studies to determine the impact of a wave farm on the coastal area in its vicinity, and how this impact varies depending on its precise location and layout; and, finally, (v) on the basis of the results of the case studies, to produce the first set of guidelines on the design of a wave farm.

The WaveCat WEC has been chosen as the test device with which to perform the experimental phase of the project. It is an oblique overtopping device with a state of the art control system embedded in the design to optimise performance in various sea states. The model was constructed within the University of Plymouth at a scale of 1:30. A CFD numerical model using STAR-CCM+ will be validated from the experimental results, the device optimised and test cases performed.