In Wave Energy – Technology Brief (June 2014), the International Renewable Energy Agency stated that synergies with other marine industries would be beneficial for the wave energy industry. The report concludes that opportunities should be sought to create more specific infrastructure – including ports – to facilitate the installation, operation and maintenance of wave energy converters (WECs). On the other hand, the progressive growth of port activities poses many difficulties, notably the increase in energy consumption and pollution. The implementation of CEOs in ports facilitates the preparation of these important infrastructures for the future through sustainable and environmentally friendly development.
Breakwaters in harbours are designed to resist wave action and facilitate the dissipation of wave energy at the harbour entrance, creating sheltered areas for port activities. El gran potencial de estas estructuras para la incorporación de CEOs, debido a su alta exposición a las olas, ha dado lugar al proyecto SE@PORTS. This project aims to demonstrate that this approach is a successful solution for both breakwaters and CEOs. Current coastal CEO applications are based on the oscillating water column (Pico Island-PT and Mutriku-SP, almost reaching TRL8) or on the overflow principle (SSG at TRL3/4). These proof-of-concept prototypes, installed in real environments for validation purposes, still lack an integrated, multi-purpose assessment aimed at maximising their technological efficiency, energy output, long-term reliability and minimising visual impacts or overall construction.
The integration of high potential overflow (TRL3) concepts in large harbour breakwaters will be studied by means of numerical (WP3) and physical (WP4) models. In order to improve the overall system performance, hybrid systems combining overflow with other wave energy harvesting principles will be analysed to explore the potential of this original approach. The potential of CEO application in seaports will be economically assessed (WP5).
To realise the ambition of SE@PORTS, it is necessary to characterise the case study sites (WP2): (i) wave conditions at sea, (ii) wave energy at the base of the breakwater, (iii) wave energy in front of the CEO. As case study sites, the Port of Leixões (Porto, Portugal) and the Port of Las Palmas (Gran Canaria, Spain) are suggested. Several concepts will be studied numerically in order to: (i) study their hydrodynamic behaviour, (ii) define the best design for the foundations, (iii) combining different approaches to harnessing wave energy, (iv) define which PTO is best suited to power generation, (v) establish the control strategies to be applied, (vi) explore the integration of storage systems and, finally, (vii) explore the integration of storage systems and, finally (vii) measure both effectiveness and efficiency, taking into account Lean principles by applying the Lean Design-foreXcellence (LdfX) tool. Subsequently, the most promising proposal will be tested at both sites at different scales. Outreach (WP6) will be organised around research activities. The outcome of these activities will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences. At the start of the project the TRL will be 3 and by the end of the project we expect to reach TRL 4-5 with the full set of laboratory tests of the scaled-down models.