Electricity production, capacity factor, and plant efficiency index at the Mutriku wave farm (2014–2016)
Ibarra Berastegi, Gabriel
Sáenz Aguirre, Jon
Serras Malillos, Paula
Esnaola Aldanondo, Ganix
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Ocean Engineering 147 : 20-29 (2018)
Mutriku has recently become the first commercial wave farm to release its operating data. The plant has 14 OWC operating turbines, and this study has conducted an analysis of hourly data corresponding to the 2014–2016 period. The plant's capacity factor has been calculated for this period, and its seasonal evolution characterized. Additionally, a plant efficiency index has been defined as the ratio between the wave energy flux at a reference buoy and the average power generation across the active turbines. The Mutriku wave farm's annual output in the period analysed has been 246,468.7 kW-h, with an average of around ten working turbines. The results indicate that Mutriku's average capacity factor is around 0.11, with higher values in winter than in summer. These values are below the capacity factors reported for other renewable energy sources. The plant efficiency index is 0.26, and further advances in regulation and control may also raise this parameter's values, as may lower rated power alternators. This will also help to improve the Mutriku wave plant's capacity factor, and OWC technology in general.