Experimental investigation of mooring configurations for wave energy converters
Paper in proceedings, 2015
Mooring systems are required to keep floating wave energy converters (WECs) on station. The mooring concept chosen for this has an impact on the performance of the WEC, on its cost and on its integrity. To clarify the pros and cons of different mooring designs, we present the results of experiments on physical models of three different mooring concepts in regular and irregular waves, including operational and survival conditions. The parameters evaluated are the tension in the cables, the motions of the device in the different degrees of freedom and the seabed footprint in each case. We can see that the mooring system affects the wave energy converters, but the magnitude of the impact depends on the parameter analysed, on the mode of motion studied and on the conditions of the sea. Moreover, different configurations have similar performances in some situations and the choice of one over another might come down to factors such as the type of soil of the seabed, the spacing desired between devices, or environmental impacts. The results of our experiments provide information for a better selection of the mooring system for a wave energy converter when several constraints are taken into account (power production, maximum displacements, extreme tensions, etc).
wave energy converter