Optimering av storskaliga vågkraftsparker

Tidsperiod: 2016-01-01 till 2019-12-31

Projektledare: Malin Göteman

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Projektbidrag

Budget: 3 444 000 SEK

One of the largest challenges of today is how to guarantee the energy supply in the future with minimal environmental and climate impact. Ocean waves provide a promising renewable energy source with higher power density and less variability as compared to solar and wind; the potential of wave power has been estimated to 10% of the world’s electricity consumption. Research and development of wave energy techniques has been around for a few decades, but there are still no concepts that have reached large-scale commercial levels. If wave power is to take the step to a reliable, effective and grid integrated energy source in Sweden and worldwide, its costs must be strongly reduced, or equivalently, its efficiency greatly improved. The proposed project addresses this problem with a new approach to modelling and optimizing wave energy, and with world-unique experiments.To produce electricity in the range over a few MW, most wave energy concepts require that many wave energy converters (WECs) are deployed together in arrays, or parks. Since the devices will interact by scattered and radiated waves, the total performance of the park will be affected by many different parameters, for example the number of devices, their separation distance and individual dimensions, the geometry of the park and the wave climate. To maximize the electricity production of the park while minimizing costs, power fluctuations and used ocean area, reliable simulation tools are needed that can model and optimize the full park. The goal of this project is to develop such a model, verify it by both scaled experiments in wave tank and unique full-scale experiments off-shore, and use it to find global optimized configurations for wave energy parks.So far, the modelling and optimization of wave energy parks has mainly been focused on comparing a small number of distinct array configurations, varying separate parameters individually by trial-and-error, or performing simulations in regular waves or with approximate methods. Only a few wave energy array experiments have been reported. Uppsala University is at the world-leading forefront of wave energy research, and has one of the largest research groups in the area. The group’s off-shore research site at the west coast of Sweden is one of the few test sites for full-scale wave energy arrays in the world. The access to the unique off-shore test site is part of the project infrastructure and gives it an outstanding potential. The preliminary model developed by myself has already received a prestigious prize, and provides a solid basis for the project, which guarantees a viable and successful outcome.The project will develop a reliable and innovative optimization tool for large-scale wave energy parks by combining semi-analytic hydrodynamical modelling with a genetic optimization algorithm. The model will be validated by and receive input from groundbreaking experiments and CFD-simulations on subsystems. Wave tank tests with 20 devices in scale 1:10 will provide experimental data on interaction effects in different park configurations. The full-scale experiments will provide data from small arrays of full wave energy systems in real, off-shore conditions.The output of the project includes a generic modelling tool and delivered guidelines for optimal configurations for wave energy parks, which will increase the efficiency in the electricity produced with lowered costs and power fluctuations. If wave energy is to play a significant role in the energy system of the future, this is a task that has to be addressed and solved.