Marine construction technologies could be designed to offer power generation in addition to their sea defence and coastal erosion prevention function. This paper aims to evaluate and optimize the performance of an Overtopping Wave Energy Converter (OWEC) as part of a hybrid generation system integrated into an offshore wind turbine. For that purpose, two configurations have been investigated. A 100kW OWEC was combined with a micro-gas turbine of 80kW at the first configuration and the same OWEC with a wind turbine (WT) of 200kW at the second. The preliminary design of an integrated offshore OWEC/WT is presented.
The findings of the present investigation have been applied to a specific test case of a small, off–grid island, in the Aegean archipelago. Regarding its power requirement, Donoussa island currently relies exclusively on fossil fuel. At the same time, a high wave and wind power potential is available. A representative set of wind data have been obtained and numerically analyzed. A wave simulation, overtopping prediction and power output has been carried out. Moreover, a techno-economic and environmental assessment of the proposed offshore integrated design is presented. The stand alone coastal OWEC, and a single offshore wind turbine have been evaluated versus the proposed offshore hybrid power generation scheme.
The OWEC is expected to generate 320MWh per year, thus covering half of the island’s estimated power demand. Using both wave and wind power generation, energy autonomy of the island could be achieved. In order to cover the requirements of extreme cases, a micro gas-turbine power generation unit has been considered, in parallel to the existing fossil fuel power generation unit. From the techno-economic assessment point of view, the coastal OWEC construction has a shorter return on investment time of 11 years as compared to 13 years of the proposed integrated design but lower profitable investment. Besides providing sufficient electrical power for the island, the additional environmental benefit of the proposed system is that it can be used to counter coastal erosion.
The integrated offshore OWEC/WT design could potentially double the power output of each and every offshore wind turbine installation. This result could therefore be interpreted either as halving of the required number of offshore wind turbines erections or as doubling of the power output of an offshore wind park.