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Title: Wave energy converter strings for electricity generation and coastal protection
Author: Alexandre, Armando Emanuel Mocho fernandes e
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2013
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Generation of electricity from ocean waves has seen increasing research and commercial interest in recent years. The development of projects of several hundred megawatts rated capacity is now being considered. There is a clear need for improved understanding of the environmental impact of large-scale wave energy extraction, particularly in nearshore regions where sediment transport and cliff erosion may be affected. This thesis investigates the change in nearshore wave conditions and sediment transport due to energy extraction by long strings of wave energy devices. The influence of wave energy converter (WEC) arrays has been studied using transmission coefficients implemented within a spectral wave model. It is shown that the breaking wave height nearshore is larger (5%) if transmission is defined as frequency dependent. This is due to the energy dissipation processes associated with different wave frequencies. Linear wave theory is employed to determine frequency dependent transmission and reflection coefficients across a line of wave energy devices based onthe amplitude of scattered and radiated waves. This approach is compared with experimental measurements of the wave field in the vicinity of an array of five heaving floats. The transmitted wave amplitude is predicted with reasonable accuracy but additional numerical damping is required to predict the measured float response amplitude. This comparison indicates that linear analysis is an acceptable approach for predicting float response and wave field in the vicinity of the array for a certain range of conditions. Linear wave analysis is subsequently applied to investigate the variation of transmission coefficients with distance inshore of a long array of heaving WECs undergoing free response and with damping specified to optimise power extraction. A method is presented for identifying representative transmission and reflection coefficients such that change in wave energy is equal to energy extraction by the devices. These coefficients are employed to quantify the change in nearshore conditions due to deployment of a long line of wave devices at a site near the East Anglian coastline. Wave conditions are modelled at 12 points along the shoreline over a 140 year period and significant wave height reductions up to 30% were obtained. Importantly, changes in nearshorewave direction are also observed. Analysis using the sediment transport model SCAPE (Soft Cliff and Platform Erosion model) indicates that the introduction of the array reduces both the sediment transport rate and cliff recession rate by an average of 50%.
Supervisor: Stansby, Peter; Stallard, Timothy Sponsor: EPSRC - Supergen Marine
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Wave energy converters ; WEC arrays ; Wavefield modifications ; Coastal processes ; Experimental measurements ; WEC responses ; Closed spaced arrays ; Wave propagation ; Nearshore ; Transmission coefficients ; Reflection coefficients