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Preliminary development of a wave forecast system for the energy estimation in the area interested by an owc device installation

pubblicazioni - Memoria

Preliminary development of a wave forecast system for the energy estimation in the area interested by an owc device installation

Il paper illustra lo sviluppo preliminare di un sistema di previsione dello stato di mare nel tratto antistante l’antemurale di Civitavecchia, dove è prevista l’installazione del primo prototipo del WaveSAX, con il duplice scopo di allertare in caso di eventi marini intensi e stimare l’energia producibile nelle successive 72 ore.

The European Commission has strengthened its support for the development of ocean energy, identifying this sector as a key technological area within the Strategic Energy Technology Plan of the EU, and it is estimated that ocean energy deployment will reach 65 MW of wave energy capacity by 2020 (Magagna et al., 2016). In Italy, as well, there is a growing interest in producing electric energy from waves and marine currents, aiming to reach 3 MW installed power by 2020, as it is described in the renewable energy National Action Plan. In this context, some wave energy converters are in an advanced development phase, such as the WaveSAX, an oscillating water column device suitable for been installed in existing structures along the Italian coast and patented by RSE S.p.A. (Peviani, 2015).

The paper is focused on the preliminary development of a wave forecast system related to the area in front of the breakwater of Civitavecchia harbor where the first WaveSAX prototype is expected to be installed; in any case the forecast system can be replied both in other areas of the Italian coast, and considering a different wave energy converter. The designed tool has a dual 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 waves forecast system is structured in different sections/modules, that can be summarized as follows:

• download of the offshore wave data coming from regional forecasting models (Mediterranean scale). These data are made available for download by the University of Athens (http://forecast.uoa.gr/wamindx.php) and/or by Copernicus Marine environment monitoring service (CMEMS) (http://marine.copernicus.eu/services-portfolio/access-to-products/).

• simulation of the wave propagation from offshore to the coast using the SWAN numerical model, part of DELFT-3D suite (Riset al., 1999). The type of curvilinear calculation grid used by the model (Figure 1) allows to increase the resolution in the Civitavecchia area where WaveSAX will be installed. The SWAN model has been validated with wave data acquired by an Acoustic Doppler Profile (ADP) that is included in the Civitavecchia Coastal Environment Monitoring System (C-CEMS) (Bonamano et al. 2016).

• the forecast system returns the wave energy available to be converted in electricity by the WaveSAX or the following 3 days, and it forwards a warning message in the case an intense marine event is expected (a wave height larger than 4 meters).

Furthermore, the work shows the application of the waves forecast system in two different case studies, the first one in which the safety threshold for the WaveSAX device is foreseen to be exceeded, and the second one with ordinary sea conditions.

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