Historical Evolution of theWave Resource and Energy Production off the Chilean Coast over the 20th Century
Ulacia Manterola, Alain
Peñalba Retes, Markel
Ibarra Berastegi, Gabriel
Ringwood, John D.
Sáenz Aguirre, Jon
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Energies 11(9) : (2018) // Article ID 2289
The wave energy resource in the Chilean coast shows particularly profitable characteristics for wave energy production, with relatively high mean wave power and low inter-annual resource variability. This combination is as interesting as unusual, since high energetic locations are usually also highly variable, such as the west coast of Ireland. Long-term wave resource variations are also an important aspect when designing wave energy converters (WECs), which are often neglected in resource assessment. The present paper studies the long-term resource variability of the Chilean coast, dividing the 20th century into five do-decades and analysing the variations between the different do-decades. To that end, the ERA20C reanalysis of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts is calibrated versus the ERA-Interim reanalysis and validated against buoy measurements collected in different points of the Chilean coast. Historical resource variations off the Chilean coast are compared to resource variations off the west coast in Ireland, showing a significantly more consistent wave resource. In addition, the impact of historical wave resource variations on a realistic WEC, similar to the Corpower device, is studied, comparing the results to those obtained off the west coast of Ireland. The annual power production off the Chilean coast is demonstrated to be remarkably more regular over the 20th century, with variations of just 1% between the different do-decades.