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Development of components of environmentally compatible system for economics progress in arctic coastal areas based on the use of regional renewable resources

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Methodology for estimating wave power potential

Wave power is a renewable source of energy that has yet to be fully tapped, but finding the best place to site a wave power installation just became a whole lot easier.


The INCO 2 Programme funded an international research effort entitled MARINECO that brought together wave energy experts from the European Union and the Russian Federation. The aim was to design, build and test an offshore Float wave electric power station (FWEPS). The current techniques used to identify locations suitable for FWEPS installations are limited. During MARINECO, Applied Technologies Company Ltd., one of the Russian participants, was assigned the task of developing advanced methods to evaluate wave power potential. The challenge was to accurately address physical phenomena covering a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. The solution was to employ multiple models. For instance, a hydrodynamic model was applied at the synoptic level while a probabilistic model provided feedback regarding wave climatology. In addition, the power associated with three-dimensional waves was estimated by approximations based on regular sinusoidal waves. Finally, Applied Technologies Company Ltd. came up with a way to calculate wave power potential using several wave parameters derived at different time scales. The new approach was tested during MARINECO. A highly preferable site was detected off the southern coast of the Greek island of Euboea where low seasonal and synoptic variability ensures stable power generation year-round. Furthermore, site access is ideal for easy maintenance. The site was subsequently selected for trials of the MARINECO FWEPS.

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