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Report RSE 17002141

Wave measurement campaign (2016) and preliminary development of a wave forecast system



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M. Peviani (RSE SpA) , F. Paladini de Mendoza (Università della Tuscia), S. Bonamano (Università della Tuscia), A. Danelli (RSE SpA)

ENEMAR 2016 - Marine Energy Conversion

Measurements of the wave climate with ADP SonTek 1.0 MHz sensor at the Civitavecchia harbor, and development of a preliminary forecasting system for estimating the potential energy available from the wave motion over the next 72 h.

The real electrical productivity from a wave energy converter depends both on the availability of the resource and on the conversion feasibility of this natural potential in electric energy. Indeed, it’s necessary to accurately estimate the wave resource through in situ surveys or with numerical models, that in any case have to be calibrated with measurements. Taking into account that a survey of the wave characteristics should be sufficiently extended in time in order to get information about seasonal and annual variability, return time statistics of extreme events and the mean annual available energy, it was considered appropriate to carry on the measurement campaign in the Civitavecchia harbor.

In fact, past studies have identified the breakwater of the Civitavecchia harbor as an appropriate site for launching the pilot experimentation of the wave energy converter developed by RSE, the so called WaveSAX. The measurements, conducted in February 2017, allowed firstly to test the new ADP 1.0 MHz sensor installed at a depth of 40 m and secondly to carry out an assessment the characteristics of the wave climate. Furthermore, it was possible to calculate the available energy potential in the period, and its distribution in terms of wave height and direction. The recordings executed by the ADP sensor, configured to perform a 7.5 minutes waves measurement every two hours, have been compared with the data acquired by the wave buoy located in proximity of the 40-meter bathymetric line as well, owned by the Port Authority.

The comparison revealed a good correlation between the ADP and the buoy. Additionally, the report illustrates the preliminary development of a wave forecast system related to the area in front of the breakwater of Civitavecchia harbor, that can be replied in other areas of the Italian coast. The projected system has a double purpose: a) to alert in case of high waves are foreseen, that could damage the WaveSAX; b) estimate the energy that can be produced by the device in the following 3 days. The wave forecasting system receives the offshore wave climate forecast as input data – this information provided by the WAM regional model is available on-line - and simulates the propagation of wave motion towards the Civitavecchia harbor.

Finally, the output data from the system are the wave energy available to be converted in electricity by WaveSAX device, and a warning message in the case an intense marine event is expected.

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