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Title: Optimisation of the network delivery of marine energy using a Geographical Information System
Author: Graham, Sarah
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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There are a variety of marine energy converters under development with full-scale prototypes currently being tested in the open sea. One of the most important steps to help the devices reach the commercial market is to find the optimal sites for development. This involves identifying areas of suitable marine energy resource, determining a route to network and locating network capacity for the new generation. Network access is a major constraint to the development of marine energy so it is essential to select areas that make the best use of the resource and network capacity available to get the first generation of devices into the water. This study has addressed these challenges to advance the understanding of the recoverable resource and encourage investment and confidence in the new marine energy industry. The work reported describes the assembly of a new Geographical Information System (GIS) model that contains a comprehensive range of data for the marine environment. Spatial analysis techniques were employed to analyse the data subject to the majority of the constraints on siting wave energy converters (WECs). This enables the location and quantification of the recoverable wave energy resource. Least cost path analysis was utilised to optimise the route of the submarine cable from WEC to shore while taking bathymetric, seabed, environmental and economic constraints into account. Power flow analysis was carried out on sections of the Scottish electricity network to determine the location and amount of available network capacity for new generation. This analysis was integrated with the GIS to create a unique GIS/power flow model that is utilised to optimise the network integration of wave energy. The model has been used to identify the wave energy resource in closest proximity to available network capacity. Economic analysis is also carried out to provide an economic appraisal of wave energy projects and the route to the network. The outcomes of the study using the developed GIS model allow optimisation of the delivery of marine energy to the electricity network and are used to provide an appraisal of wave energy development in Scotland.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available