With the need to integrate renewable energy sources into the current energy portfolio and the proximity of power consumers to ocean coastlines, it is important to evaluate marine energy systems, specifically wave energy converters (WECs), as potential solutions for meeting electricity needs. The ability to model these systems computationally is vital to their eventual deployment. The power development, economics, grid integration requirements, operations and maintenance requirements, and ecological impacts must be understood before these devices are physically installed. However, the research area of WEC array optimization is young, and the few available results of previously implemented optimization methods are preliminary. The purpose of this work is to introduce a new WEC array optimization framework to explore systems-level concerns, specifically WEC layout and device spacing. A genetic algorithm approach that utilizes an analytical hydrodynamic model and includes an array cost model is presented, and the resulting optimal layouts for a preliminary test case are discussed. This initial work is integral in providing an understanding of device layout and spacing and is a foundational starting point for subsequent and more advanced WEC array optimization research.
Offshore energy, Marine energy, Wave energy converters, Array optimization, Genetic algorithms
Sharp, Chris and DuPont, Bryony, "Wave Energy Converter Array Optimization: A Genetic Algorithm Approach and Minimum Separation Distance Study" (2018). Faculty Publications - Biomedical, Mechanical, and Civil Engineering. 107.