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Technical and Practical Guidance for Conducting Sea Trials at Galway Bay Wave Energy Test Site

Date: November 05, 2013 at 15:58 GMT

The Galway Bay Wave Energy Test Site is one of a number of locations available in Europe for subprototype scale (c.1/3-1/5) sea trials of wave energy converters (WECs). Sea trials at this scale are an important stage in the development of WECs. This stage is the first opportunity to test all parts of a WEC integrated together, outside of the controlled laboratory environment in naturally occurring sea conditions. There have been relatively few prolonged sea trials of WECs to date and there is a lack of information available to developers planning sea trials. Given the time and cost involved in conducting sea trials, it is important that they are planned correctly so that all necessary investigations to properly assess the WEC are undertaken and there is full confidence in the results. Thorough planning is also necessary to reduce the inherent risks involved in sea trials.
The Galway Bay Sea Trial Manual, as will be outlined in this paper, is being written with the aim of giving guidance to developers, both practical and technical, on undertaking the sub-prototype sea trials phase of a WEC at Galway Bay. Much of it can also be applied to sub-prototype scale testing at other sub-prototype scale sea trial facilities. 

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