Experimental investigation of mooring configurations for wave energy converters
Journal article, 2016
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Mooring systems are required to keep floating wave energy converters (WECs) on station. The mooring concept might impact the performance of the WEC, its cost and its integrity. With the aim of clarifying the pros and cons of different mooring designs, we present the results from physical model experiments of three different mooring concepts in regular and irregular waves, including operational and survival conditions. The parameters investigated 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 performance of the wave energy converter, 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 converters