Wave energy is an emerging and promising renewable energy technology. As the first pre-commercial and commercial prototypes are being tested at sea, there is a need for developers, governments and investors to be able to reliably estimate the energy production of devices as a function of the sea states they are to be deployed in. This estimation has traditionally relied on only two sea state parameters, the significant wave height and the energy period, but these do not account for frequency or directional spreading. The present paper investigates the suitability of further parameters to refine performance predictions. This is achieved through extensive wave tank testing of three types of wave energy converters (WECs) with different directionality properties. Statistical analyses of the measurements show the significant impact of frequency and directional spreading on the performance of WECs. Parametric models of the devices’ performance were devised for numerous sea state parameters. These results suggest that the traditional estimation method should be extended in order to include at least a parameter related to the spectral bandwith.
- WEC performance, Parametric models, Uni-modal spectra, Wave tank tests, WEC yield estimation