The Wave Energy Cost Reduction project will involve investigating the optimal number, size, arrangement and location of wave energy device arrays to minimise the cost of installation and infrastructure while maximising power output.
The project presents a holistic approach to identify the optimal location and array configuration for the deployment of a wave energy farm. The multidisciplinary approach used newly-developed optimisation tools that maximises power output while minimising infrastructure cost, as a function of wave resources, seabed conditions and array configuration. The approach was used on a virtual deployment of Carnegie CETO6 wave energy converters in Torbay, WA and resulted in a reduction of the ratio of infrastructure cost to power capture (used as proxy for the levelised cost of energy) of about 25%. Depending on site conditions, higher savings can be achieved using this approach.
Report: Wave Energy Cost Reduction Resource Assessment
The Wave Energy Cost Reduction project has investigated the optimal number, size, arrangement and location of wave energy device arrays to minimise the cost of installation and infrastructure while maximising power output. This report outlines the findings from the project at completion.
This will be the first time the interactions between wave energy resource, array location and configuration, seabed topography (known as bathymetry) and geotechnical characteristics will be studied to reduce costs. The project will move also away from conventional methods to adopt innovative load-sharing and optimisation strategies that use secondary moorings to maximise cost saving potential.
The outcomes of the Wave Energy Cost Reduction project will be validated using Carnegie Wave’s CETO 5 wave energy module at Garden Island, Western Australia and then applied to the development of the CETO 6 array in 2020.
The project outcomes will be applicable for all floating wave energy converters and are expected to reduce cost of foundations for the entire wave energy industry.
Despite its considerable potential, wave energy has not yet reached full commercial development. The cost of wave energy remains significantly higher than competing alternatives, including other renewable energy sources such as wind or tidal power. This is due to the engineering challenges associated with installing and operating infrastructure in the ocean environment and more particularly the cost associated with foundation engineering.