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ORE Capstone on Wave Energy Conversion

5 December 2018 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Bradley Beeksma
Sitthichat Sukphol
Kei Manabe
Nicholas Ulm

The potential of a small-scale wave energy test site at the Kilo Nalu nearshore reef observatory is analyzed. Climate change concerns and Hawaii’s mandate for 100% renewable energy dependence by 2045 has led to a push for increased development of wave energy conversion (WEC) technology. Prototype testing is a crucial step in the development process to validate and evaluate designs of wave energy convertors. As testing full-scale devices in field conditions requires large capital investment due to manufacturing and deployment costs, preliminary testing is usually performed with scaled-down prototypes in a wave tank facility. However, testing in wave tank facilities cannot address all the technical questions regarding wave energy performance due to their inability to simulate realistic ocean conditions. Although in Hawaii there is an offshore test site for full-scale WEC testing, known as the Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) in Kaneohe, the facility requires high capital and operational costs. To minimize WEC testing costs while maintaining realistic ocean conditions, we investigate the potential of WEC testing at Kilo Nalu on the south shore of Oahu as a nursery site to bridge the gap between the wave tank facility and WETS. We discuss oceanographic factors of the site, case studies of WEC performance, environmental concerns, permitting procedure, and cost analysis to demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of small-scale wave energy testing at Kilo Nalu.

ORE Capstone on Wave Energy Conversion


5 December 2018
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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