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Resource Variability and Extreme Wave Conditions at the Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site

Date: November 05, 2013 at 13:27 GMT

The Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site (AMETS), a test area for the deployment of full scale Wave Energy Converters (WECs), is being developed by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland near Belmullet in Co. Mayo. It is envisaged that this site will become the final proving ground for WECs to display their ability to operate and survive in the challenging conditions typical of fully exposed, open ocean locations.
This paper utilises the outputs of a sixteen year SWAN model, developed on behalf of SEAI, in order to assess the level of interannual variability that exists in the wave energy resource experienced at AMETS. Fluctuations in the average levels of wave power at a range of water depths are quantified. The model data, along with recordings of time series of sea surface elevation from in situ measurement buoys, are also used to estimate the extreme values of significant wave height (Hm0) and maximum wave height (Hmax) that devices deployed at the site should be designed to withstand for a range of return periods. 

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