Wave Resource Spatial and Temporal Variability Dependence on WEC Size: Paper No. 1977

B. Robertson, G. Dunkle, T. Mundon, Levi Kilcher

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


As the wave energy sector grows and looks to the Blue Economy for commercialization opportunities, there is a distinct and pressing need to clearly understand and quantify the coupled impacts of wave energy converter (WEC) size and wave resource characteristics on the annual energy production, spatial variability and temporal variability. Utilizing generic frequency domain representations of the Oscilla Power Triton WEC and spectral wave conditions at PacWave (Oregon), Los Angeles (California) and WETS (Hawaii), a series of interesting results emerge. Firstly, the 'optimal' WEC size, from an energy standpoint, is fundamentally dependent on the frequency distribution of the incoming wave variance density spectrum. Secondly, and from a seasonality perspective, the seasonal WEC energy generation doesn't necessarily follow the seasonal distribution of gross wave power. Finally, from an hourly power variability perspective, a reduction in WEC size generally decreases variability. However, for each of the locations investigated, there appears to be a WEC size threshold; a threshold where further reducing WEC size results in increased power variability.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2021
EventEuropean Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC 2021) -
Duration: 5 Sep 20219 Sep 2021


ConferenceEuropean Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC 2021)

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5700-81758


  • blue economy
  • wave resource assessment
  • wave spectrum
  • WEC modelling


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